My good mate Wayne was killed a few months ago. A woman crashed into his bike while she was twice over the legal limit for alcohol and, after hitting him and killing him, she got out of the car and ran off. She was later found in a field.
Saving his family a lot of grief, she pleaded guilty and today, she was sentenced to 6 years in prison. She’ll probably be out in 3 and this has been prepared for by the Judge who banned her from driving for 5 years. Essentially 3 years in prison and a two year post-prison ban.
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel. I don’t feel any sense of vindication, any sense of revenge, any sense of justice, any sense of anything really. Whatever the sentence, Wayne isn’t coming back.
I understand the need for the justice system to do it’s think and while some of Wayne’s friends are very disappointed at the comparatively small sentence, I’m not. For one thing, given that most drunk drivers get about 18 months a £200 fine and a few points on the license, this strikes me as a severe sentence. Particularly given that she pleaded guilty. Just this gives me nightmares about the the severity of the injuries Wayne must have received and I can only hope his death was swift and painless.
Wayne was an amazing person. I’m not going to tell you how amazing, that’s well documented and some of his amazingness is between me and him. I hold onto those moments and don’t want to share them. Not yet. Sorry. However, part of his amazingness was his ability to let things go, to not hold grudges; and I can’t help thinking that he’d be appalled that he was in anyway responsible for the ruining of his killers life. She admitted it, she accepted responsibility. The Wayne I knew would have given a shit eating grin, said ‘brilliant’ and probably gone for a pint with her to celebrate.
But of course he can’t do that.
Cries of ‘Murder’ seem a little OTT . . . I doubt she set out to get drunk and kill someone. I think Wayne would have understood that.
I don’t hate her but feel the weight of her tragedy.
I’d not seen Wayne for sometime before we reacquainted ourselves last May. I didn’t see much of him between then and his death – apart from an hilarious 4 days in Leeds when he came to visit unannounced – partly because I was, well, in leeds for some of that time. After I moved back to Southampton, he was gallivanting off to Wales a lot, but when we did see each other, we were planning art! We had a fantastic idea involving his iron working and my sound/video work. This will never now see the light of day but exists as a kind of ‘mental monument’ for him in my head. It’s kind of nice, because it gets bigger and more elaborate as time goes on. It grows. While it grows, I don’t forget the amazing force of nature that Wayne was.
I really miss the smelly hippy.