The family of a teenager who died in a car crash slammed prosecutors after they dropped an appeal to extend the driver’s jail sentence.
Jack Frame, 16, was killed exactly two years ago today, Wednesday, February 10, after Kanad Basi crashed his BMW while high on drink and drugs.
Rear seat passengers Aiden O’Donnell and Ellie Plenderleith survived the tragedy near Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, but suffered serious injuries.
Basi was jailed for four years and eight months yet Jack’s family hoped the “lenient” sentence would be extended after an appeal due to take place on Friday, February 12.
But last week they were left devastated after prosecutors told them over the phone that the appeal would not go ahead.
Amanda Frame, Jack’s mother, said: “We are furious because the Crown is not just abandoning a process – it’s abandoning us.”
The crash on February 10, 2019, happened after Basi, 22, lost control while taking a bend at speed on New Trows Road, Lesmahagow.
Front seat passenger Jack suffered serious head injuries and died at the scene.
“We are furious because the Crown is not just abandoning a process – it’s abandoning us.”Jack’s mother Amanda
Aiden had a fractured skull and two broken legs while Ellie had a punctured lung, lacerated liver and a fractured chest bone – both are still recovering from their injuries.
Ellie was subjected to a campaign of abuse in her hometown when people wrongly believed she was the driver, but the High Court in Glasgow heard Basi had climbed into the rear seat and pushed the passenger into the front.
Ellie’s name was only cleared when Basi was revealed to be in control of the vehicle at the time of the crash thanks to his DNA being found on the driver airbag.
The court was told that at the time of the crash Basi was nearly twice the drink-drive limit and had taken cocaine and ecstasy.
Basi pleaded guilty to causing death by driving dangerously and was jailed the following month and banned from driving for 12 years and four months.
“Victims deserve justice. Complete justice, not just part of it.”Amanda Frame
At the time the Frame family was disappointed by the “lenient” sentence and hoped the Crown would appeal but they are now completely devastated at the recent update that no further action will be taken.
Amanda, 42, said: “We tried to be pragmatic and hope the justice system would pull through for us after that lenient sentence but this hasn’t happened.
“It makes us question why the public should bother trusting police or fiscals to do the right thing.
“Victims deserve justice. Complete justice, not just part of it.”
“Since the day of the crash there’s been a lack of basic communication and compassion from both the police and the Crown…”Jack’s father David
Jack’s father David said the family have decided to pursue civil action in the hope of getting answers.
He said: “We have been frustrated, ignored and furious for two years now and just when you think things can’t get worse along comes a new problem.
“Since the day of the crash there’s been a lack of basic communication and compassion from both the police and the Crown who we feel either lied to us, kept us in the dark or misled us.”
Chris Stewart, partner at Digby Brown Solicitors in Glasgow, said: “No parent should ever have to experience the loss of a child and I can only commend the continued strength and dignity our clients have shown throughout this process.
“We continue to provide support for all victims of this terrible incident but as our investigations are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
A spokesperson for the Crown Office said: “Following full and careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances in this case, it was decided the appeal against sentence should not continue.
“COPFS (Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service) has a duty to keep all cases under review. In light of recent judgements of the Appeal Court in two unsuccessful Crown appeals against unduly lenient sentences in death by dangerous driving cases, this appeal was reviewed by Crown Counsel. The decision was then taken to abandon the appeal.
“We acknowledge this is distressing and disappointing for Jack’s family. We have been in regular contact with them, kept them updated and given a full explanation for the decision.”
Chief superintendent Louise Blakelock, head of road policing said: “Our thoughts and condolences remain with Jack’s family and the other victims.
“Road Policing officers fully investigated the crash and reported the circumstances to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. Following this investigation, Kanad Basi, who was responsible for the crash and its devastating consequences, admitted causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared in court.
“Jack’s family and the other victims were kept fully informed throughout our investigation.
“Sentencing is a matter for the independent judiciary.”