Driver who killed two children could walk streets

2 weeks ago 23

Jayden-Lee and his sister Gracie-Ann LucasImage source, Rhiannon Lucas

Image caption,

Gracie-Ann Lucas and Jayden-Lee died after the family car was hit on the hard shoulder of the M4

A mother has said she is "disgusted" that the van driver who killed her two children in a crash could walk the streets again.

Rhiannon Lucas said she had been informed that Martin Newman was being moved to an open prison 25 miles from her home.

Newman killed four-year-old Gracie-Ann and three-year-old Jayden Lee in a crash on the M4.

Rhiannon, 27, from Tredegar in Blaenau Gwent, said she was angry at hearing the news and Newman should have "done the full nine years".

"He's done half the sentence for being good, I think it's wrong when he has killed two kids.

"And he left me and my partner with injuries," she said.

Image caption,

Rhiannon and her partner Adam said Summer was the key factor for them rebuilding their lives

She added that the news made her "hurt all over again".

"It was an insult that he only got nine years for killing my children. Where's the justice for them?"

Newman had been taking cocaine and drinking vodka and 10 cans of cider until 05:00 on the day of the crash.

His court case heard because he was too hungover and tired to work, he decided to make the drive home to Neath Port Talbot from Leicester, where he had been working as a painter and decorator.

He had been drinking red wine while driving, was twice over the drink-driving limit, and had traces of cocaine in his system when he crashed.

His Ford Transit van ploughed into the family's red Ford Fiesta after they had pulled over on the motorway between Newport and Cardiff because Gracie had been feeling unwell.

She said: "How can it be right that he is going to an open prison where things will be much easier for him?

"It's just devastating, I had come off medication, but this news has made me ill and I am back on it now.

"It's set me back so much - I just think it's wrong."

"Day to day life is hard, I have a life sentence of torture and pain.

"My friends say they didn't think I would make it this far because of how rock bottom I was, but I know my kids wouldn't have wanted me to be sad, and I have to live for my daughter now," she added.

Image source, Gwent Police

Image caption,

Martin Newman had been taking cocaine and sipped red wine while driving

She said Newman had never apologised for what he did.

"The last few years have been so hard.

"My dad is struggling, and the whole family is, really.

"We just try and always talk about Gracie-Ann and Jayden Lee. It's Gracie-Ann's birthday next month, and Jayden-Lee's in May, and we'll go up to the grave with flowers and balloons, and then go for food with the family.

"Summer-Gracie will always know about her brother and sister," she said.

Rhiannon said she was told by the probation service that Newman would be able to stay at a family member's house once a week when in the open prison.

"It seems so unfair that his life is going to get easier, but my sentence will last until the day I die.

"It's wrong what he did, drink driving and killing innocent kids, I think he should stay in prison."

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