Mum's campaign against soft jail sentences

PUBLISHED: 08:37 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

THE MOTHER of a boy who was kicked to death says she is going to campaign against soft sentences for criminals. Sam Owen, 42, of Stevenage, is planning to take part in a Walk for Justice after her son Christopher Owen-Jones, 19, was attacked at a garage b

THE MOTHER of a boy who was kicked to death says she is going to campaign against soft sentences for criminals.

Sam Owen, 42, of Stevenage, is planning to take part in a Walk for Justice after her son Christopher Owen-Jones, 19, was attacked at a garage block just off Broadwater Crescent in Stevenage on November 9 last year.

But Mrs Owen said there is still no closure because Steven Bangert, 19, of Blenheim Way, Stevenage, who delivered the fatal blow to Christopher's head, was jailed for just four years and nine months.

Christopher was knocked to the ground by Bangert when he refused to give the number of the man who had sex with his older sister. As Christopher rose to his feet, St Albans Crown Court heard how Bangert delivered the fatal kick as if he was taking a football penalty.

Mrs Owen said "The Crown Prosecution Service accepted his plea for manslaughter. We never had an insight because I was required to be a witness for the defence, which is extremely baffling to me because I didn't witness the event and as the victim's mother I should never have been required as a witness, and had no access to any reports as a result.

"It's making it harder to come to terms with because Christopher has been let down. He had a right to life but happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We know nothing will bring Christopher back but we feel the severity of the sentence does not reflect the severity of the crime.

"There should be a review of the judicial system because there's no justice."

Defending, Benjamin Aina said Christopher and Bangert were friends and that Bangert had written to Christopher's mother saying he took full responsibility and was remorseful.

However, Mrs Owen said that Christopher and Bangert were not friends and she had never received a letter of apology.

When Bangert fled the scene, Katrina Blundell and Hannah Warden, both 14, bravely helped keep Christopher alive until paramedics arrived.

Mrs Owen said: "I would like to thank the girls for their help, they were amazing!

"It's a pity we haven't received the help and support we need because we only got one call from victim support and a call from witness care - there should be a proper support system in place for victims.

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