Family slams Sunderland death-driver sentence as Eden is jailed for seven years

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“IT’S not enough.” Crash victim Victoria Little’s devastated grandma Evelyn today slammed the seven-year sentence given to killer driver Graeme Eden.

Speaking to the Echo, the 78-year-old said: “He is not being punished for the crime. He will be out in three years.

“It’s disgusting what he has done to my family. We have the lifelong punishment.”

Speed freak Eden, who held just a provisional licence, lost control of his Toyota Celica on November 21 last year, while showing off the sports car’s powerful capabilities in wet conditions.

It collided with another car at the Chester Road roundabout by Penshaw Monument, killing his girlfriend Victoria, 30, from Houghton, and leaving her daughter Paige, 12, with no mam.

Eden, of Halesworth Drive, Hylton Lane Estate, Sunderland, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

The 31-year-old had previously served time for killing a Fence Houses pal in a crash in 2002.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Eden had been warned by Victoria’s mum Sheila Bainbridge just weeks before her precious daughter’s death about his bad driving.

In a statement to police, she said Eden “was obsessed with powerful cars and adding more power to the cars he owned.

“He always talked about power and going faster.”

A judge yesterday said Eden treated the road like a “race track”.

Moments before the smash, a motorist driving behind Eden had commented that he was driving “like a jackass”.

After the impact Eden was out of the car asking passers-by who stopped to help “what have I done?”

Judge Brian Forster jailed Eden, who replied “yes” when the judge asked if he had been showing off, for seven years, and banned him from driving for ten.

The judge said: “Victoria Little was and is well loved by her family.

“It is clear she was a caring person, an affectionate person who dedicated her life to her family, to looking after her child and working with others.

“I note she worked as a carer, giving actual help to those in the community with the most need.

“She was described as having been selfless in her caring attitude, which shone out through her work.”

He told Eden: “You were someone who was interested in smart cars, performance cars and on the day of this accident you were driving such a car.

“In my judgement you chose to regard the Penshaw road as a race track.

“You deliberately showed off, as a learner driver, knowing you were driving a performance vehicle.

“You seem to have learned little from your earlier conviction and sentence.”

In 2002, Eden killed his pillion passenger John Hancock while driving a motorbike too fast and one-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit.

They had been returning from a night of camping after a motorcycle rally in County Durham, when Eden lost control and they thrown from the bike.

Mr Hancock died in hospital from his injuries.

After yesterday’s hearing, Mrs Little said: “Eden went on in court about being depressed.

“How does he think we feel? We are all heart-broken. I’m 78 and I will never get over this.

“I honestly don’t know what we will do without her.

“Paige has been so brave and she’s held up so well but she’s got to break at some point. She’s an amazing girl, lovely and so, so beautiful.

“The justice system in this country is all wrong. The punishment should fit the crime and it doesn’t.

“We are the people who are left behind.”

Twitter: @sunechocrime