Family criticise sentence for driver following fatal crash

12:35pm Friday 21st December 2012

THE family of a man from Winchester are “devastated” after the woman who caused his death was spared jail.

Charles Punter, 25, was a passenger in work colleague Rebecca Price’s car when she collided with a Range Rover. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was the first day of his new job at a marketing firm in Essex.

Price was taken to hospital, arrested the following day and later pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

In a statement the Punter family said: “We were devastated by Charlie’s passing last December and the resulting twelve months have done little to heal the wounds.”

Police believe that at the time of the crash on December 12 2011, Price had been travelling at 45mph in a 30mph zone as she approached a bend.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, December 19, the former sales representative was handed a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and given 300 hours of community service.

The family added: “Given the severity of her offence, we are deeply disappointed that she was not given a custodial sentence as 300 hours community service and a driving ban does not seem to be an adequate punishment for causing death, nor do we feel that it is a sufficient deterrent to others.”

The senior investigating officer, inspector Keith Whiting, said: "Rebecca Price has shown Charles' family little remorse for her actions which killed their son and brother.

“The crash happened at a very poignant time of the year and sentencing has happened at a similar, poignant time of the year. I hope this gives Rebecca Price time to reflect on what she has done.”

Charles was brought up in Winchester with his sister Claire, attending Nethercliffe School in Fulflood, before going on to Kings’ School and Peter Symonds College.

Shortly after his death, Claire Punter said: “He was quite a character and very popular in Winchester until he left for university.

“It had only been his first day there but he’d made quite an impression already. He was best friends with everyone there by the end of the day.”

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