THERE is not a day that goes by when Stephanie Hamilton does not think of her brother Sean.

The 10-year-old's life was cut short when he was hit by a speeding van driven by John Patrick Smith.

Stephanie was 12 years old at the time and was with her brother in Holgate Road when Smith, pictured below, left him for dead and ran from the scene.

York Press:

The trauma of that day has stayed with the 19-year-old as she tries to come to terms with what happened.

To make matters worse, the family believe justice was not served at York Crown Court, when Smith was handed a two-and-a-half-year sentence for the charges of death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report a collision.

They are today backing The Road to Justice campaign to give judges more power to sentence dangerous drivers for longer.

"The reason we support the campaign is because my brother was killed and the sentence that [Smith] got will never be enough," explained Miss Hamilton.

"The pain of living without him is so unbearable that we fight ourselves all the time to get through the day.

"Dangerous drivers should never be able to drive again and it's disgusting how easily they get away with such horrendous driving."

Smith was driving a Ford transit van to drop his friend and his cousin off when he hit Sean.

York Press:

The aftermath of the collision that killed Sean

He had passed his driving test only six months earlier, was doing 47mph in a 30mph zone and hit the 10-year-old with the side of the van before driving over him.

He then smashed into another car further along the road before he and two passengers climbed out of the van and ran off.

The events of that day are still a bitter memory for the Hamilton family as they question the leniency shown by the justice system.

"What about all the families that have to live each day without someone they love because of a dangerous driver?" asked Miss Hamilton.

"Or how painful it is for a victim of dangerous driving to have to live with the scars and awful memories about what they went through, yet they have to just like me, my family and other families that have lost people.

"Some dangerous drivers are killers. Some rapists, thieves and drug dealers get lighter sentences and it's not right that people who think it's acceptable to drive like maniacs get a lighter sentence.

"When they get out they get to test for their licence again and go back on the roads.

"The sentence should have been a lot longer, but to be honest, it doesn't matter what he got because it was never going to bring my brother back."

York Press:

Over the coming days families who have lost loved ones will speak about how they have been let down by the courts and call for more to be done.

We want judges to be given power to hand out longer sentences to those who kill or seriously injure others on the roads, and call on the Government to make this possible.

We want to stop families going through hell when someone is punished with a short sentence and call on the Government to give judges more power to sentence drivers for longer, where appropriate.

In due course, we will present our dossier to the Government, lobbying for a change in the sentencing guidelines.

To support the campaign, sign road safety charity Brake's petition at

Follow the campaign on twitter @PressCampaign and