NewsCrime World

Woman seriously injured by drink driver slams his curfew being lifted for stag party

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
Jon Morton on the stag party in Portugal
Jon Morton on the stag party in Portugal

A mother who was left with life-changing injuries after a drink-driver crash has spoken of the decision to allow him to have his curfew lifted so he could go on a stag party abroad.

Hayley Jones, 32, from Warrington, who was left unable to walk following the alcohol-fuelled crash last year, said that seeing pictures of Jon Morton in Portugal after applying to Bolton Magistrates' Court to have his tag removed had been like he was "rubbing it in".

Miss Jones, who had been a passenger in the BMW being driven by Morton, 32, said the decision by magistrates "hurt" and she had been left with a sentence herself.

Morton, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, left passengers Miss Jones and her friend Amy Baxter with life-changing injuries after getting behind the wheel and crashing through a barrier on the M61 in August last year.

After pleading guilty to drink-driving and driving without due care and attention, Morton was disqualified from driving for three years and received a community order that included a 20-week electronically-monitored 7pm to 7am curfew.

But weeks later the curfew was listed to enable him to go abroad.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Miss Jones said: "To see someone go on holiday hurts. He looked quite cocky about it as well on his pictures, he seemed not to care at all."

Miss Jones said she "can't be a mum" to her children having been left unable to walk and has also suffered a blood clot on her lung.

She said: "It's not fair, we are basically doing a sentence because we are going to suffer until we die when he can just walk across the street and do as he pleases, it needs to be a lot tougher because it's not fair on us and the victims."

Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, called it an "outrage of public decency" and is now campaigning for a change in the law.

He told the programme it was time that the loophole was looked at that had allowed Morton to break from the overnight curfew.

Mr Berry said that he did not think the sentence was appropriate for someone who nearly killed two women, adding people should be "properly punished".

He said: "If someone gets a tag as a sentence it literally beggars belief that that could be removed to enable them to go on holiday.

"The tag is often instead of custody and if they are in prison of course they wouldn't be let out because they had a family holiday.

"A tag is a tag, it should be a punishment and it should never be removed so someone can go on holiday, least of all when they caused such upset and injury to the family and ruined two young women's lives."

Yesterday he raised the matter in Prime Minister's Questions, asking that guidance be issued to magistrates so that a tag when part of a sentence should never be removed to allow criminals to go on holiday.

Mr Cameron vowed to look at the matter after learning of the "incredibly distressing" case, adding: "A punishment is a punishment. A tag is a tag."

Although Mr Cameron said it was "difficult" to comment on individual cases, he said Mr Berry had a strong argument.

Sixteen month later, Miss Baxter remains in hospital awaiting an operation on her skull and has not been able to see her children because of her injuries.