Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Crash girl father 'guilty of grief'

A man whose 14-year-old daughter was killed by a cannabis-using motorist said he was only "guilty of grief" after being investigated for harassing the youth's family.

Paul Baker said he lost faith in the police and judicial service after he was sent a court summons in April.

It came less than a week after 19-year-old Robert Blackwell was handed a four-year jail term for causing the death of Liberty Baker as she walked to school in David Cameron's constituency of Witney in Oxfordshire on June 30 last year.

Blackwell, of Hayway Lane in Weald, Oxfordshire, was speeding and had traces of cannabis in his system when his Citroen C2 struck Liberty. He pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving.

But Liberty's father, an engineer, said he was investigated by police following a handful of "chance meetings" with Blackwell's family.

He told the Daily Mail: " I was guilty of grief, that's all. These were chance meetings as they live in close proximity to my work.

"The timing (of the summons) was bad. Just when we thought we had some closure, we were flabbergasted to receive it.

"I went from being a victim one moment to being a perpetrator the next. When we had gone through so much already, it is bizarre they would put us through it.

"After losing Liberty, nothing could be as bad. But, saying that, if you're found guilty of harassment without violence it is a five-year sentence. The killer of my daughter only got four years."

According to the newspaper, Mr Baker's case was dropped yesterday, the day he was due in court to answer a charge of harassment.

Two other 14-year-old girls and a man, Paul Cracknell, were also injured in the collision.

The court heard that Blackwell received a text message on his iPhone shortly before the crash, which prosecutors described as the "source of distraction" while he was driving.

The teenager was travelling at "a minimum of 44mph" in a 30mph zone at the time, the court heard.

Liberty, a Year 9 pupil at Henry Box School, died later in hospital from her injuries.


From Belfast Telegraph