A landmark change in the law for tougher punishments on dangerous drivers has won the backing of the man who left Birmingham toddler Cerys Edwards paralysed and brain damaged.
Antonio Boparan, has welcomed the announcement by Jack Straw that the maximum sentence for dangerous drivers is to increase from two years to five which campaigners hope will become known as Cerys’ Law.
The millionaire’s son from Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield, is due to appear in TV reality show Police Camera Action in the new year to apologise for his reckless actions and warn other young drivers about the dangers of speeding.
He was 19 at the time of the crash in November 2006 and travelling at more than 70mph on the wrong side of the 30mph Streetly Lane when his powerful Range Rover Sport hit the Edwards’s vehicle.
The Justice Secretary said he was “disgusted” to hear that Boparan served only six months of a 21-month sentence for dangerous driving. If Cerys had died he would have faced 14 years in prison.
Glenn Kinsey, a spokesman for Boparan, said: “Antonio says he would welcome anything that would make drivers think twice before speeding.”
Cerys, from Sutton Coldfield, was only one when she was left brain damaged, paralysed and unable to breathe without a ventilator.
The toddler’s parents have campaigned tirelessly for tougher sentences for motorists who cause serious injuries, with the backing of the Birmingham Mail. The family claimed justice for Cerys after Mr Straw’s announcement yesterday.
The family will appear in Police Camera Action, to show the devastating impact the tragic incident has had on their lives.
Boparan will also take part. Mr Kinsey said: “Antonio did a lengthy and candid interview with Gethin Jones from ITV’s Police Camera Action which is due to be broadcast in 2010.
“The aim of the feature is to educate drivers who speed and Antonio outlined what had happened in the hope that other teenage drivers would learn from his mistakes.”
The spokesman added that Boporan had raised £60,000 for a trust fund he set up after his release.
The Boporan Charitable Trust, inspired by Cerys, has been set up to benefit children affected by sickness, disability and poverty.
Boparan said he had not met with the family since the incident. He said: “When you know your actions have caused such hurt and pain, it’s difficult to know how to respond because ‘I’m so sorry’ just isn’t enough.”