The family of a much-loved 20-year-old who died in a road accident say ‘no length of jail sentence’ for his killer will ever get them over his death.
Lewis Knapp, of Boldon Colliery, died last April after being struck by a car on Anderson Street, in South Shields.
The driver of the vehicle involved in the collision, 21-year-old Connor Emms, was today jailed for four-and-a-half years after previously pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing in November.
Lewis lived at home with his mother, Michelle Norton, and his partner Caitlyn Hardy.
After Emms was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court, Michelle paid tribute to Lewis.
No length of jail sentence can ever bring back our beloved Lewis and we will never get over this tragic loss which has left a hole in so many livesMichelle Norton
She said: “No length of jail sentence can ever bring back our beloved Lewis and we will never get over this tragic loss which has left a hole in so many lives.
“We are relieved that the person who took my son’s life has been put behind bars and can cause no further harm on the roads.
“We now want draw a line under all this and to be left to remember Lewis in peace.
“We will celebrate his life and think of him as he was: a bright, warm and fun-loving person, and a wonderful son and partner.”
Lewis, who worked at Washington Metalworks, had been out socialising with friends on Good Friday last year when he was struck by the car.
He died in the early hours of the next morning from his injuries.
His family is pursuing a civil case on Lewis’ behalf, supported by road traffic collision specialists Thompsons Solicitors.
The claim will be brought against the Motor Insurers Bureau as the driver had no insurance.
David Robinson, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors and chairman of road collision victim support charity RoadPeace North East, said: “This family has been through hell and we will continue to fight to ensure that they are provided with some financial stability now that Lewis is gone.
“We would urge the government to do more to protect vulnerable road users and to introduce harsher penalties for road-related offences.”
Sgt Jason Ryder, a Motor Patrols officer at Northumbria Police, said: “We have to deal with cases like this far too often and my thoughts are very much with Lewis’ family at the conclusion of this case.
“The actions of Connor Emms that day were reckless and irresponsible and I think it is fitting that the judge has handed down a custodial sentence at court today.
“No length of sentence will bring Lewis back to his family but hopefully they can take some comfort in the fact justice has been served to the person responsible for his death.
“We will continue to work hard to make our roads a safer place.
“Hopefully drivers will take note of cases like this and the devastating consequences of dangerous driving.”