'No hiding place' - Campaign to name and shame Norwich drink-drivers backed by father of tragic teenager
PUBLISHED: 09:01 02 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:12 02 December 2014
The father of a teenager killed by a drink-driver weeks before her 17th birthday today backs a campaign to name and shame drink-drivers this Christmas.
The Norwich Evening News has vowed to publicise as many festive drink-drive court cases as possible.
The Name and Shame 2014/15 campaign, which runs from today to January 9, is being supported by Peter Jermy.
Mr Jermy’s 16-year-old daughter Lisa was killed by a drink-driver who crashed into a group of youngsters on Magdalen Road, Norwich, in 2006.
The 64-year-old, of Margaret Paston Avenue, Norwich, said: “I think if someone’s name is in the paper it might shake a lot of people up because it’s the last thing a lot of people would want.
Lisa Jermy was just 16, and a student at City College Norwich, when she was hit by a car at the corner of Magdalen Road and Waterloo Road, as she walked back to her Mile Cross home following a night out with friends.
Miss Jermy, who took the brunt of the force, died at the scene of the crash, which happened just weeks before her 17th birthday.
The driver, Paul Coe, had passed his driving test less than a month before the crash, which happened on October 20, 2006, and was double the legal drink- drive limit.
Racing through a 30mph zone at speeds of up to 80mph, he lost control and ploughed into the group of friends, killing one and resulting in four others being taken to hospital.
Coe, then 17, of Cromer Road, Hainford, had run through a red light shortly after leavig a pub on the night of the crash.
He later admitted causing death by dangerous driving.
In January 2007 at Norwich Crown Court, he was sentenced to five years in a young offenders’ institution, banned from driving for 10 years and ordered to take an advanced exam before he could drive again.
In May, drink-drive motorist James Berryman was jailed for a year after he crashed into four cars, including two taxis and a police car, and injured two people in the heart of Norwich’s clubland.
Berryman, 22, was first spotted in the early hours of March 1 this year veering between lanes by police but he failed to stop and tried to get away by going through red lights.
He continued on to Bank Plain where he hit a taxi, injuring 45-year-old passenger Roxanne Hickie.
The court was told Miss Hickie suffered whiplash and pain in her back and spine and had to take time off work following the crash.
Berryman continued down Prince of Wales Road before smashing into another taxi and eventually coming to a stop.
The driver of the second taxi was sitting in his vehicle outside Mojos nightclub and suffered minor injuries.
When breathalysed, Berryman gave a reading of 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Berryman, of St Andrews Close, Old Buckenham, admitted dangerous driving, drink- driving, aggravated taking a vehicle without consent and driving without insurance or a licence. He was given a 12-month prison sentence and disqualified from driving for three years.
Sentencing Berryman at Norwich Crown Court, Recorder Peter Wallis said: “The offences, dangerous driving in particular, involved multiple collisions and injury was caused.
“It was a prolonged course of very bad driving, fuelled and aggravated by the consumption of alcohol.
“The driving I would classify as about as bad as it gets.”
In mitigation, Jude Durr said that Berryman had reacted badly to his father leaving the family home some years ago.
He added that despite being excluded from formal education at the age of 13 and having severe dyslexia, Berryman had recently found paid employment.
Speaking following the crash, Miss Hickie said “It was quite scary. You see your life flashing before you and you just brace yourself – there’s nothing you can do.”
“They wouldn’t like to see their names put in the paper and I think it might make people think a lot.”
It is eight years since his daughter’s death but the pain remains with Mr Jermy and the rest of his family every day.
That is something that he wants to get across to people who are prepared to drink and drive.
Mr Jermy said: “They could kill someone by their actions and whatever sentence they get they’ve got to realise that the parents and friends and sisters and brothers have got that with them for the rest of their lives. You don’t get over it.”
He added: “Some people try to get over it by blotting it out.
“I’ve found it’s the wrong thing to do. We talk about my daughter and my wife goes to the cemetery every day and we think how she could’ve been married now, had children...”
By speaking out about the devastation that drink-driving causes, Mr Jermy hoped that, together with the launch of our campaign, it might make people think before they got behind the wheel after a drink.
Last year, 5,547 drivers were tested across Norfolk and Suffolk, with 204 testing positive, but Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said he hoped our campaign might help drive those numbers down.
He said: “Anything that can act as a deterrent in relation to making people think, ‘I don’t want to be caught or I don’t want to end up with everyone knowing what I’ve done’, will hopefully make them think twice before they drink and drive.”
Launching the the police’s own campaign in recent days, Chf Insp Spinks urged people to shop drink-drivers in a push to catch the “hardcore minority” who diced with death.
Police are carrying out extra patrols and breathalysing any driver who is stopped through concern over their manner of driving, a vehicle defect or involvement in a collision.
And now police are supporting a national Crimestoppers campaign which urges people who know someone who regularly drink-drives to give information anonymously.
If someone is about to commit an offence, then call police on 999.