Motorcyclist Amy Cooper, was just 20-years-old when she was killed – she was left dying in the road by a driver who should not have even been behind the wheel.
Disqualified driver, Shane Kelk, ran from the scene after driving dangerously and colliding with Amy, in Lincolnshire, in November last year.
Losing a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a girlfriend or a best friend, as Amy was, in such a brutal way, is unimaginably painful in itself. But Amy’s family were unable to grieve properly – in limbo as they navigated the distressing legal process, while Kelk awaited sentence.
In February, Kelk was jailed for eight years and three months at Lincoln Crown Court, after admitting a number of offences, including causing death by dangerous driving.
But even at this point, Amy’s family were unable to begin processing their grief, because Kelk lodged an appeal against his sentence. And so ensued many more months of excruciating waiting for the next court date to arrive.
Thankfully, in October 2023, 11 months after Amy was killed, Kelk’s plea for his sentence to be reduced was dismissed at London’s Court of Appeal. Amy’s family can now begin to grieve.
Amy’s family released the following statement after the hearing:
“We are relieved at the outcome of the appeal and the decision to not reduce the sentence given in February. We won’t say that we’re happy, just relieved. We’re relieved that this is now over and we can actually try to grieve. Something we haven’t been able to do since she was killed because of the different court processes that have been involved, especially this appeal.
“Amy and her short 20 years of life were brutally, violently taken away in a crash that was entirely avoidable, from actions that no sensible, legal driver would have ever even considered. A driver who left her at the side of the road to die.
“The 11 months since Amy was killed have been exhausting, painful, and indescribably awful for all of us in our own ways trying to grieve a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a girlfriend, a best friend. The additional weight of the appeals process, the inability to talk publicly about it and the lack of control we have had over it all has made it even worse, which we didn’t think was possible.
“We want to extend our sincere gratitude to Lincolnshire Police, who could not have done more to support us and to bring the driver that killed Amy to justice, and we are forever thankful to the force, and especially to DC Pendell, DS Doona and case officer Newboult. We extend our deepest gratitude too to the paramedics and medical personnel at Peterborough Hospital who took care of Amy and did their best to keep her alive.
“We also want to thank our prosecution team for their help with the original sentencing and with this appeal and for keeping us informed where possible. They have been so supportive and available to answer questions whenever needed.
“Our final thanks go to RoadPeace for their incredible support. The work that RoadPeace does to support bereaved families and injured victims and to campaign for better laws around dangerous driving and road deaths is vital and we owe them so much for all of their incredible hard work.
“There is a great injustice occurring across this country for the families of those who are killed on our roads every day. Amy was just driving home. She deserved to have made it there alive. We should have spent this year going on trips and visiting each other, instead we are now attending memorials and court hearings, some of which, like Tuesday (October 17, 2023), aren’t even in her name.
“We didn’t want to put ourselves in the public eye like this but we have to fight for Amy because she can’t. Sentencing has greatly improved, but road crime and causing death by dangerous driving are still, in our opinion, not given long enough sentences.
“Don’t forget Amy. Don’t forget the thousands that have died on our roads since the first road fatality in this country in 1896. Don’t forget the, on average, five deaths a day on UK roads. And when you next get in your vehicle and drive home, remember that it is a privilege, not a right, to drive a vehicle, and be grateful that you made it home to your loved ones, just as Amy should have been able to.”
Updated on: 2 November 2023