Tragic parents hit out at appeal bid

Maxine Ashworth and Christopher Ashworth with a picture of their daughter Elysia Ashworth, who died last year in a car crash.
Maxine Ashworth and Christopher Ashworth with a picture of their daughter Elysia Ashworth, who died last year in a car crash.
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A HEARTBROKEN mother has spoken of her agony after the teenage driver who caused her daughter’s death launched an appeal against her prison sentence.

Elysia Ashworth was just 17 when she was killed after her friend Naomi Jones lost control of the car she was driving and smashed into a tree.

And today Elysia’s mum Maxine said the family – including dad Chris and sister Emelia – had been left devastated after learning 19-year-old Jones has made a bid to have her six-month sentence reduced.

Mrs Ashworth, of Ulverston Crescent, St Annes, said: “There’s no justice for Elysia.

“Naomi appealing has caused some major distress for Chris, Emelia and I, it feels like we are back where we started.

“This is adding to our pain. It’s not going to change anything and it is not going to bring Elysia back but we thought we had some sort of resolution.”

Jones, of Carr Lane, Wesham, was sentenced to six months in a young offender’s institute in November, after admitting causing Elysia’s death by careless driving.

Elysia – known as Elly – suffered multiple injuries when Jones lost control of her Vauxhall Corsa on Division Lane, Marton, after hitting two bumps on the narrow, uneven road.

She died two days later in Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Now, Elysia’s family believe it will send the wrong message to other young drivers if Jones’ sentence is reduced at the Court of Appeal.

Mrs Ashworth said: “If an appeal goes in her favour, then what sort of punishment has she had? What sort of message is that?

“You might as well say to someone, do what you want in your car, and if you kill someone you will just get a slap on the wrist.

“It isn’t fair. It doesn’t matter Naomi didn’t mean it – the fact is she drove at an unacceptable speed on that road.

“At the end of the day she caused a child to die and she should be punished.”

A third girl, Ellen Richardson, was also seriously injured in the accident but is recovering and is now studying at university.

The accident happened on July 11 last year, meaning the Ashworth family are now facing their second Christmas without their youngest daughter.

And Mrs Ashworth added: “We are facing another Christmas without Elysia.

“She is never coming back and she can’t have a nice Christmas, so why should Naomi?”

Preston Crown Court confirmed Jones has lodged an appeal, but the Ashworth family have not yet been told when it will be heard.