Parents of Cornish man killed in hit-and-run campaign for tougher sentences

The family of a man from Cornwall who was killed in a hit-and-run are campaigning for tougher sentences.

Ryan Saltern was killed after being struck by a car on the B3267 in St Teath in July last year.

Driver Wayne Shilling, of Delabole, received a four-month jail sentence suspended for a year after he pleaded guilty to failing to stop and failing to report the accident.

Mr Saltern was hit on the B3267 in St Teath.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months, given an evening curfew for four months and ordered to pay a £207 victim surcharge and prosecution costs.

But for Ryan’s parents Helen and Mark, the punishment was inadequate.

In an interview with ITV News West Country, they said their son’s life had been made to feel “worthless”.

The words ‘your son is dead’ and the words ‘you're free to go Mr Shilling’ will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Helen Saltern, Ryan's mum

“That's what they said at the end. He [Shilling] got a four-month suspended sentence, a  couple of hundred pound fine, a 12-month driving ban and that's it for my son’s life," Helen continued.

“The value of his’s nothing. I could do that. Grief is hard enough without injustice added to it and having your loved one’s life feel so worthless is...heart-wrenching."

Currently, hit-and-run drivers face a maximum sentence of six months where there is no evidence of careless or dangerous driving.

Flowers left at the scene.

Ryan’s family are now campaigning for the Government to introduce stricter sentences for hit-and-run drivers.

They have backed a pre-existing online petition which, if it surpasses 100,000 signatures, will be considered for debate in Parliament.

It currently has 36,000 signatures.

In a statement, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Mr Saltern.

“While the independent judiciary will consider the facts of each case, drivers who fail to stop can face more serious charges, which can carry a maximum of life in prison."