‘A year is not enough for taking a life’

editorial image
Have your say

A couple say they are “angry” at sentences handed to two drivers who killed their pregnant daughter and robbed their two-year-old grandchild of his mum and a new baby brother or sister.

Kim See was 20-weeks’ pregnant and had been excitedly planning a future with her young son and the father of the baby she was expecting when she died in October 2011 during an impromptu night out with friends.

One of those friends was Ryan Williams, who was driving the car carrying Kim when he became involved in a “spat” with another driver.

Williams’ car collided with the other, being driven by Christopher Cottingham, killing Kim and leaving both drivers with serious injuries.

But Kim’s mum and dad Nigel and Wendy say the two men “got off lightly” after they were sentenced earlier this month.

Williams, now 23, was sent to prison for a year, while Cottingham got just 46 weeks.

Nigel said: “We feel very let down and angry with the criminal justice system.

“If someone goes out to kill someone, you take their life – murderers should get life for a life.

“I don’t think a year is paying for Kim’s life.

“This was a tragic accident but the consequences still need to be paid.

“We are angry and we can’t forgive them, especially Williams, who Kim had known since school, because he has refused to take any responsibility for what he did.”

Williams had pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Cottingham changed his plea to guilty mid-trial.

But Nigel and Wendy said: “Refusing to take responsibility is just cowardice. He needs to stand up and be man enough to take responsibility.

“He took two lives. It wouldn’t make it any easier to bear if he admitted what he had done, but he is still protesting his innocence and that’s not right.”

The couple are now hoping to get the message across to other young drivers that a moment of madness on the road can have serious consequences.

Wendy said: “I just want other young people to think about what they are doing.

“I don’t want anyone else – any other family – to go through what we have gone through.

“They just need to stop and not get involved in any messing around.”

Nigel claims part of the problem is the “Playstation generation”.

He said: “They play these games on computer consoles and when you crash you just get up and carry on.

“They think that happens in real life, but it’s not like that – it has real consequences.”

Wendy added: “We’ve all been young and done daft things but the consequences are not usually someone dying.”

Wendy and Nigel now take care of Kim’s son, Lucas, who is nowthree.

Nigel said: “If there’s ever a right age to lose your mum, Lucas was the right age.

“He does talk about her but we tell him his mummy is an angel in the sky.

“You don’t know how much they understand at that age, but I think it would have been a lot harder if he had been five or six.”

Wendy added: “Kim was pregnant and was planning a future with Lucas and his new brother or sister and her boyfriend.

“They have robbed Lucas of that.

“Having Lucas with us all the time has meant major adjustments for us all.

“He is a lovely little boy but it is hard when I’m doing things with him because it should be Kim.”