Ipswich: Ben Gummer vows to take Scott Nicholls case up with justice secretary
15:55 26 February 2013
Â©Archant Photographic 2009
AN Ipswich MP has vowed to speak to the justice secretary after readers called for a change in the law regarding criminals in need of treatment in mental health hospitals.
It comes as the families of Emma Harold and Kate Wasyluk – killed in a road crash on February 21, 2009 – questioned why the driver, Scott Nicholls, served just over a month in prison for taking two lives.
Nicholls was released on Friday, the day after the fourth anniversary of the horrific Foxhall Road crash, after serving the majority of his four-year sentence in a mental health hospital.
He was only discharged from hospital into jail in January – a month before his release date.
When he ploughed into the friends and Emma’s younger sister Beccy, Nicholls was speeding, over the legal alcohol limit and had traces of heroin and ecstasy in his system.
Emma, 26 and 25-year-old Kate were killed while Beccy was left with life-changing injuries.
Kate’s brother Remy Wasyluk has called for a change in the law, demanding that criminals deemed unfit to serve in prison should be treated in hospital and then released into jail to start their sentence.
A poll on The Star’s website attracted more than 450 responses with an overwhelming 87% of respondents agreeing that the law must be changed.
And Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he would be raising the matter with cabinet minister Chris Grayling.
“I am concerned about this and will be raising it with the Secretary of State for Justice,” Mr Gummer said.
“The law should be just and fair for victims of crime.”
Mr Wasyluk added: “It’s good to hear that 87% of readers agree with me.
“It proves that my thoughts are rational and not just born out of a sense of injustice.
“I’d now love to hear a solid argument from the judicial service as to how they feel the law currently punishes the guilty.
“Continuously in our society we witness examples of how the perpetrators of crime are protected and supported.
“There never seems to be any real action to punish people and make them pay for the crimes they commit.
“With no such deterrent I think certain people will go about their lives with a selfish regard for anyone around them, leading to more people senselessly getting knocked down and killed on our roads. “With almost 90% of the poll agreeing with me I look forward to hearing the views of the justice secretary.”