Son’s prison sentence anger

Kelly Gair and son John with a photo of her late husband Alan.
Kelly Gair and son John with a photo of her late husband Alan.

The teenage son of a man killed in a crash on the A1 has branded the world a ‘sick, sick place’ after two thieves were given longer jail terms than the man responsible for his father’s death.

And a Facebook rant by John Gair about the decision has sparked a huge response, prompting more than 6,000 likes and nearly 400 comments, in less than three weeks.

The 17-year-old from Amble reacted angrily earlier this month after hearing that Walsall duo Lee Wildman and Adrian Stanton had been caged for nine and eight years respectively after swiping artefacts, worth £2million, from a Durham museum.

This was compared to the five-year prison sentence given to the foreign lorry driver who killed John’s 37-year-old father, Alan, in 2008. Klaas Alewijn Jan Rehorst ploughed into Mr Gair’s car while carrying out a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on the single carriageway, near to Belford, earlier that year.

In a heartfelt Facebook status on February 8, John wrote: “Honestly what is this world coming too? Two men have been arrested and sent to prison for 17 years for stealing a Chinese antique ornament, yet my dad who was tragically killed on the A1 in a head-on collision and the driver of the lorry that killed my dad did two and a half years in prison and my dad was priceless.

“This world’s a sick, sick place.”

The status is gaining constant attention. And John’s mother Kelly, who was badly injured in the crash, says she shares her son’s frustration.

“He couldn’t understand the decision – how can someone who has stolen something get more time in prison than someone who has taken a life?

“Alan’s death was so avoidable. The Facebook status has had an impact and I don’t think John ever thought he would get such a response, he was just writing how he felt. He was upset and rightly so. My view is exactly the same as John’s.”

Kelly, who has three other children, reiterated her calls for the A1 to be dualled.

“Even after Alan’s death we have read that people have been killed on the single carriageway of the A1. It’s so frustrating.”