Road safety charity hits out at 'shocking' sentence passed to killer of South Yorkshire teen Josh Tyler

A national road safety charity has called the sentenced passed to a dangerous driver who killed a 16-year-old South Yorkshire teenager as 'shockingly lenient'.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 2:25 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:59 am
Josh Tyler
Josh Tyler

Josh Tyler, of Swallownest near Sheffield, was just minutes away from his home on Hepworth Drive when he was knocked off his moped by Tobias Shelton on Mansfield Road in April 2015

Shelton, aged 20, of Rose Garth, Aston, initially pleaded not guilty to death by dangerous driving but later changed his plea.

Josh with mum Julie, dad Ray and sister Jodie

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He was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to three years in prison but will be eligible for release before Christmas next year after serving 18 months behind bars.

But Brake, the road safety charity, has hit out at the sentenced passed to Shelton and is calling for ththe Department of Justice to review the law and increase sentences for dangerous drivers.

The charity also called for ‘serious investment’ in traffic policing and make it a ‘national priority’.

Brake, the road safety charity spokesman Jack Kushner, said: “This is an awful case, and our hearts go out to the family of Josh Tyler.

Just some of the many tributes left at Mansfield Road where Josh died

“Shockingly lenient sentences like this are insult to bereaved families, and shown the inadequacy of our current criminal driving laws.

“Far too often, grieving relatives are let down by our legal system. It is essential that courts use their full range of powers, to ensure that sentences reflect the devastation caused, and to help prevent further tragedies.

“We need to see much tougher sentences for drivers who kill. We hope that the Department of Justice’s review will lead to bereaved families gaining the justice they deserve. We also urge the government to invest seriously in traffic policing and make it a national priority, so police have the resources to catch and penalise dangerous drivers.”

Josh’s mum, Julie Henley-Smith, who backed The Star’s Drive for Justice campaign to urge to the government to increase sentences for dangerous drivers, said: “The person who killed him will be back on the streets living his life again after 18 months and we’ll still be serving a life sentence without Josh.

Tobias Shelton was jailed for three years

“It’s shocking that my boy’s life was lost for such a short sentence.

“We know no length of sentence will bring Josh back but the one handed to him isn’t long enough. I know he didn’t go out to kill Josh that night but he took that decision, a stupid decision on a blind spot and it’s shattered our lives forever.The consequences should be much tougher.”

Hundreds lined the streets for the popular Aston Academy pupils’ funeral as the village came to a standstill.

A memorial bench in Josh’s name was erected on Mansfield Road just yards away from where he was killed. Residents in the village have petitioned Rotherham Council to install a speed camera and reduce the speed limit on the road.

Josh with mum Julie, dad Ray and sister Jodie

The Star alongside other publications in the Johnston Press news group launched a petition to increase the sentences for dangerous drivers.

To sign the petition, click here.

Just some of the many tributes left at Mansfield Road where Josh died
Tobias Shelton was jailed for three years