Widow's anger over sentence

THE widow of a pensioner killed by a drunk driver has spoken of her anger at his lenient sentence. Ivy Barber, 83, is furious that Peter Hanlon escaped with just a 30-month jail sentence despite being over the drink-drive limit. This is absolutely terr

THE widow of a pensioner killed by a drunk driver has spoken of her anger at his "lenient" sentence.

Ivy Barber, 83, is furious that Peter Hanlon escaped with just a 30-month jail sentence despite being over the drink-drive limit.

"This is absolutely terrible," she said from her home in Holmes Lane, Soham. "I think he should have got at least five years.

"This has been a terrible year for me. Now I just have to try to forget it."


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Hanlon, 37, of Northfield Park, Soham was involved in a crash with 77-year-old Ronald Barber's car on the A142 last year.

Dancing instructor Mr Barber and his wife had been out to a dance in Little Downham when he turned back towards home because he had forgotten his sheet music.

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He died at the scene of the crash after Hanlon swerved across the road and hit his car head-on.

On Monday, at Cambridge Crown Court, Hanlon, who had admitted causing the death of Mr Barber by careless driving, was also disqualified for driving for four years along with his jail term.

The court was told Hanlon had 124 milligrams of alcohol to 100 millilitres of blood when the limit is 80 milligrams.

A more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving had been dropped by the prosecution at an earlier hearing.

Mrs Barber was seriously injured in the crash and had a steel plate was fitted in her arm.

She said: "I don't remember much about the accident. I remember Ron saying he had to go back home to get his script and then I woke up in hospital.

"I broke my left wrist and had a steel plate put in my right arm. My legs were all cut and bruised and I had broken ribs. I spent just under a week in hospital.

"I just couldn't believe that Ron was dead. I was so stunned."

Mrs Barber sat through Hanlon's court case supported by her son, two brother-in-laws and a friend.

"They said it was a pitiful case," she said.

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