For many members of the local community, the tragic death of six-year-old Sharlotte-Sky Naglis remains poignant in memory.
Sharlotte was killed in June 2021 whilst walking along the pavement on Endon Road in Norton Green with her father when she was struck by a car. An outpouring of grief from the local and surrounding community followed.
The driver of the car, John Owen, was twice over the drink-drive limit, had a series of drugs in his system, was using a mobile phone, had no seatbelt on, and was speeding.
When Mr Owen was sentenced in October last year, I shared the outrage locally that he received just six years and four months in prison, shockingly only spending two and a half years behind bars. Alongside huge support from the local community who petitioned the Attorney General to consider the sentence under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme, I worked with Sharlotte’s mother Claire to try and get this insulting sentence overturned, even holding a debate in the House of Commons to raise our deep concerns.
We were hugely disappointed when it was decided the sentence would not be considered for review, despite the strength of feeling locally and a campaign backed by the Stoke Sentinel.
You can read more about Claire's story and the Sentinel's coverage of this tragic event here:
As I said during my speech in November, there have always been two parts in pursuing justice for Sharlotte-Sky. During the investigation into her tragic death, due to Mr Owen’s coma, existing laws made it impossible to test his blood for drugs and alcohol without consent. While samples could be taken, legislation prevented the blood being tested by a lab, resulting in delays to the case. In theory, under current laws, blood taken from a suspect in a coma for 20 years would sit in a freezer unable to be tested until they wake up or pass away.
The prolonging of the investigation caused much distress to Sharlotte’s family, who rightly wanted to see her killer sentenced as soon as possible. It simply should not be the case that where loss of life has occurred due to a collision with a motor vehicle, consent is required. If a suspect has nothing to fear, why would they object to testing?
We are calling on the government to review Section 7A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which this law falls under, and introduce ‘Sharlotte’s Law’ to ensure families do not have to go through the same torment again.
As a member of the local community, we need your support to help apply pressure and change this law. You can help by signing the petition below.
(This webpage and below petition have been created with the support and consent from Sharlotte's mother Claire).