Poll: Families anger as road menace Scott Nicholls is set to be released after serving ONE month in prison for killing Emma Harold and Kate Wasyluk
PUBLISHED: 15:58 21 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:58 21 February 2013
A ROAD menace who killed two friends when he ploughed into them in Foxhall Road four years ago today is set to be released after serving just ONE month in prison, The Star can reveal.
Scott Nicholls was speeding and was over the legal alcohol limit with traces of heroin and ecstasy in his system when he crashed into Emma Harold, 26, her younger sister Beccy Rutter and 25-year-old Kate Wasyluk just yards from the entrance of St Clements in the early hours of February 21, 2009.
Emma and Kate were killed while Beccy suffered life-changing injuries.
The then 20-year-old, formerly of West Villa, Woodbridge Road, was detained under the mental health act at his trial at Ipswich Crown Court in September 2009.
His 12-year sentence was reduced by a third to eight years, taking into account his guilty plea.
Ministry: We understand your concern
In a letter to Kate’s father Leon Wasyluk dated October last year, Lindsay McKean, head of Mental Health Casework Section at the Ministry of Justice, said: “I understand the prospect of the release of Scott Nicholls will be of great concern to you.
“It maybe helpful if I set out some information about the management of offenders subject to s45A of the Mental Health Act 1983.
“The purpose of s45A is to ensure than an offender who needs treatment for a mental disorder remains in hospital for as long as this treatment is necessary.
“However, unlike a hospital order patient, who would be discharged from hospital as soon as treatment was no longer necessary, a person subject to s45A is also subject to a prison sentence.
“Therefore, once treatment in hospital is no longer necessary, the offender will be returned to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence.”
It is understood that Nicholls, though released, will not be allowed to return to Ipswich, Chelmondiston or Kesgrave.
He will be released on licence and liable to be recalled to prison for the next four years.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Prisoners with severe mental disorders can be detained in secure psychiatric hospitals where they receive specialist treatment. They will be transferred to prison once they no longer need treatment.”
As the devastated families face the fourth anniversary of losing Emma Harold and Kate Wasyluk, they are plagued by waiting for “that” call – when the probation service will let them know Nicholls has been released.
Today Remy Wasyluk, the brother of Kate has called for a change in the law, demanding that criminals deemed unfit to serve in prison should be treated in hospital before released into prison to start their sentence.
He said the families are waiting for “that” call - one he hopes will not come today.
Echoing Mr Wasyluk’s anger, survivor of the horrific crash Beccy, said she is “cross” that Nicholls has “got off lightly with a lesser sentence”.
Mr Wasyluk, who lives in London, told The Star: “We have been told he (Nicholls) will be released at the end of February, we don’t know the exact date.
“I hope they (the justice system) wouldn’t be so ridiculously insensitive as to release him on the same day as the anniversary.
“It is very distressing for all the families, hearing this news as we all have to cope with the fourth anniversary.
“What makes it worse is he has only served just over one month in prison.”
Beccy, 29, added: “As a family we do try not to think too much about him (Nicholls), but knowing he has only served one month in prison, for taking two lives, makes me so cross.
“It feels like he has got off with a lesser sentence.
“Whether he was sentenced to eight or 20 years, he would be out one day with the opportunity of a second chance – a second chance Emma and Kate will never have.”
Mr Wasyluk, 31, added: “The law needs to be changed.
“If someone is detained in hospital, deemed too ill to go to prison, they should be treated and brought to a position where they are aware of what has happened, and what they have done.
“Then and only then should they be sent to prison to serve their sentence.
“In this case, he would have served a total of eight years, which is what he was ultimately sentenced to.
“It seems only yesterday this all happened and now we are four years on and he has served just one month in prison.”
“Four years in prison, we could have accepted whatever we felt about the length of sentence, but one month seems unjust.”