Girlfriend of hit and run victim ‘devastated’ by his death

Lewis Knapp with his girlfriend Caitlyn Hardy.
Lewis Knapp with his girlfriend Caitlyn Hardy.

The “devastated” girlfriend of Lewis Knapp says the danger driver who killed him has ruined the lives of his victim’s family and friends as he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars.

Caitlyn Hardy today hit out at the sentence given to Connor Emms, whose Vauxhall Vectra hit and killed Lewis in Anderson Street, South Shields, on Good Friday last year.

Connor Emms.

Connor Emms.

At a previous hearing Emms, of Sycamore Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to causing his death by dangerous driving.

Read more: Motorist jailed after tragic hit and run

The 21-year-old also admitted failing to stop after a road accident, having no insurance, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.

He has been given a total of four-and-a-half years in prison today by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.

But Ms Hardy says she and Lewis’s family feel the sentence is nowhere near enough for the pain and suffering Emms has caused.

“I didn’t have any expectations as to what he would get, but I am just devastated by this,” said the 19-year-old.

“Nothing we can do can bring Lewis back, he could have been given 14 years and it wouldn’t change anything.

“But he has taken someone’s life and he might only serve two years in prison.

“He hasn’t just destroyed Lewis’s life, he has taken mine and all of Lewis’s family and friends’ lives too.”

Read more: Family pay tribute to Lewis Knapp after death crash driver is sentenced

Ms Hardy and Lewis, of Boldon, had been in a relationship for two years and were looking to plan their future together.

“I lived with him and we were together every day,” said Ms Hardy, of Jarrow.

“He was going to propose to me. He had been out looking at rings with his best friends.

“We were going to go to Florida on holiday this year too, but instead me and Lewis’s mam and cousin will be going to scatter his ashes there.”

Despite the harrowing ordeal, Ms Hardy says she wants to alert drivers about the dangers of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“We just want to raise awareness of how dangerous this can be,” she said.

“If it stops just one person from getting in the car when they have had drugs or too much to drink, then that will mean something.”