Kaylan Hippsley: Family of boy, 13, killed in crash call for tougher sentences

The family of a 13-year-old boy killed in a crash have launched a campaign calling for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.

Kaylan Hippsley died after he was struck by a car in Hirwaun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, on Thursday 29 February.

Kaylan's family said they had been "shattered" by his death and felt "utterly let down by the justice system".

They described him as "a bright 13-year-old boy" who was "handsome, clever and witty".

He was described as a lover of sports, especially rugby, who was "deeply loved and...taken from us far too soon".

Kaylan's family have now launched an online petition "to deter reckless behaviour on our roads".

The petition calls for the introduction of Kaylan's Law, to increase the minimum sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.

"The loss of Kaylan's life is permanent, the consequences for his killer should reflect this harsh reality," they said.

Harley Whiteman, 19, from Cae Felin Parc, Hirwaun, was sentenced to six years and nine months in a young offender institution last week for causing Kaylan's death by dangerous driving.

He previously pleaded guilty at a hearing in Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday 30 April.

Whiteman was driving a Ford Fiesta when it collided with Kaylan on Brecon Road.

After Whiteman's sentencing, Kaylan's family issued a statement to say they were "devastated to lose Kaylan at such a young age".

They thanked all those who helped Kaylan at the scene, including paramedics, members of the public, his friends, the police, as well as the medical staff who cared for him at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

"Our thanks also go out to the local community of Hirwaun who have supported us from afar sending their prayers and support. We are very grateful," they added.

Debbie Winters, the mother of one of Kaylan's sisters, who set up the petition, told Sky News the current system was not "fair on families".

"I spoke to a lady briefly who had gone through the same thing with her daughter," Ms Winters told Sky News.

"But she said they felt exactly the same, so she was well behind the petition".

Read more from Sky News:
King too busy to see Harry during UK visit
Eight talking points from the Met Gala

Ms Winters said she found "strength" in knowing other people could relate to what Kaylan's family were going through.

"It's surprising how many people have experienced similar things," she added.

A spokesperson for the Sentencing Council said the sentencing guidelines for causing death by dangerous driving has a sentence range of "up to 18 years in custody for the most serious offences".

"The sentence levels in the guidelines were set following full public consultation," they added.

"During sentencing, the judge or magistrate will consider the specific facts of the case before them and must follow any relevant sentencing guidelines, unless it is contrary to the interests of justice to do so."