THE wife of the man killed by a van driver from Wallingford has called for stronger punishments for people found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Eddy Lee, from Cookham, died eight days after he was thrown off his motorbike on the M4 near Langley when Paul Duxbury, 36, of Rowland Close, Wallingford, crashed his van into the back of him after being distracted by his colleagues on July 5 last year.

He left behind his wife Ciara and their three-year-old son Seren Ying Hei.

Mr Duxbury was sentenced last Friday to one year and ten months in prison with a further five-year driving ban.

Although Mrs Lee expected a minimal sentence, she was shocked to hear how low the sentencing was.

She said: “I didn’t think it would be that low. What message does this send to my son? What message does this send to other drivers and people who are learning how to drive?”

The Oxford Times:

Mrs Lee, who lives on a riverboat in Cookham, and said the punishments of death by dangerous driving need to be stronger to act as a deterrent.

She said: “When someone is killed on the road, it is horrific, and the law needs to reflect that, otherwise it won’t act as a deterrent and it will keep happening.”

Mrs Lee wrote a five-thousand-word victim impact statement while her husband was fighting for his life in hospital after the crash.

She felt it was important to read it to Mr Duxbury in court so that he could see the ‘utter bombshell of devastation’ her husband’s death had caused.

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She said in her statement: “I have never experienced grief before... Most of all I never imagined the person dead would be Eddy - my husband, and the man I built an idyllic life on the river with. The father to our beautiful spark of a toddler Seren Ying Hei.

“My truly happy life came to an end on July 5... I will never know what our life could have been. Seren will never see the happiness and love between his parents.”

Mr Lee's parents are from Hong Kong and he valued teaching his son Chinese which his wife said would be greatly missed.

She said in her statement: “Seren has lost his second language almost overnight. Soon he won’t be able to answer his grandparents when they speak to him in Cantonese. It won’t be long before he can’t understand them at all. Another blow. Another ripple of devastation in our shattered lives.”

The Oxford Times:

Mrs Lee believes that short driving bans are an ‘insult’ to those that have been killed and that a life-long driving ban would be more appropriate and a restorative justice approach is something that she would like to see more often.

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She suggests that Mr Duxbury should talk to children in schools or talk to companies that hire van drivers, to help change attitudes about dangerous driving and road accidents.

She said: "If Mr Duxbury really wants to show respect, he would tell people his story. I could even work with him in the future to help change attitudes.”

In her statement, she added: “I shouldn’t be the one having to campaign for safer roads when his story could help prevent this happening again. If he wanted to try and ease some of my pain, he would help others learn from his mistakes."