Newly-elected MP Ellie Reeves has revealed she was at school with both the mother of 10 year old Makayah McDermott who was killed by a stolen vehicle in Lennard Road, Penge last year – and his aunt who also died.

She revealed the connection during a Westminster Hall debate on sentencing of dangerous driving cases involving death.

The MP for Lewisham West and Penge told fellow MPs: “Members might know of an incident that happened in Penge last year, when two of my constituents, Makayah McDermott—a 10-year old boy and aspiring young actor—and his aunt, Rozanne Cooper, were killed when a stolen vehicle was travelling at 55 miles per hour in a residential area just opposite a playpark.

“That case is particularly close to my heart because I was at school with the mother of the boy and his aunt, both of whom died.”

Ellie Reeves asked Kevin Brennan MP, who initiated the debate: “Does my hon. Friend agree that the disparity between sentences for manslaughter and sentences for death by dangerous driving has long been unjust?.”

Responding, Mr Brennan said he did.

“And I extend my sympathies to my hon. Friend and her constituents in relation to that tragic case.

“The case I will try to develop in my argument is that it is not enough just to get parity of sentence.

“We need to look at what sentences are being handed out and why, and whether justice is being served by the system, whatever ultimate maximum tariff the Government decide is appropriate for this offence.”

Closing the debate, Kevin Brennan said: “The minister says that three sentences longer than 10 years have been imposed in the last couple of years, but he did not say that the maximum 14-year sentence had been used.

“I hope he wants to signal that that maximum sentence should be used more frequently.

Dominic Raab  minister of state, Ministry of Justice, replied:  “The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. “As we develop these proposals, I look forward to working with him and other hon. Members across the House.

“It is the very least that the victims and their families deserve.”

Question put and agreed to. (Source: TheyWorkForYou website. Dangerous Driving involving Death: Sentencing in Westminster hall 17th October 2017.)

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