header

Home Page

Wednesday, November 21, 2001


The Master of the Rolls
Lord Phillips
Royal Courts of Justice
The Strand
London WC2A 2LL

 

Dear Lord Phillips
The enclosed relates to our matter, which has been ongoing for the last 46 months, since the killing of our daughter. I hope that you will read what is before you so that you may be aware of an example of a situation that ought not have been created, but was, by erroneous interpretation of the law governing this sector.

Unfortunately, until Government makes up its mind what to do about proven dangerous drivers, such injustice will thrive. The Judiciary may be independent and await the snail-like will of Parliament to tighten the guidelines, but is it moral, that in the meantime, legal angles can be found to assist the proven guilty, just because the interests of a material society outweigh those of easily forgotten dead victims and their bereaved families? What is justice?

Yours sincerely
Giulietta Galli-Atkinson
enclosures

 


Wednesday, November 28, 2001

 

Mr Rory Munro

The Private Secretary 
The Lord Chief Justice
Lord Woolf
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL

 

Dear Mr Munro

I am most grateful that you heard me out this morning and that you have agreed to make Lord Woolf aware of our case.  May I reiterate that we do not expect him to intervene publicly on our behalf, here or abroad, but that we would like him to be informed of how ill served justice can be. Mistakes can be made in a judgment, but when too many of them are made in sequence to exculpate the proven guilty, for reasons that will not be explained, surely it is pertinent for those who care about justice, to ask questions to prevent reoccurrences. 

Two areas, for example, that might be looked at, is that the Attorney General’s 28 day time rule governing appeals on unduly lenient sentences, should be used fairly to give families of victims time to find remedy within that period.  As you know, we were prevented from doing so because that time was used up by the then Attorney General, John Morris. The next process, Judicial Review, is a very expensive matter and limited in its remit, in cases like Livia’s.  We represented ourselves in the High Court because we could not afford a QC’s fees of £15,000, without the guarantee of success against the discretionary power of the Attorney General. This QC’s Advice in Conference and Report, however, found that the judgments had been wrong in principle and the reasoning flawed, in accordance with the many authorities that might have been examined, with a will. 

The other matter is one that Lord Woolf has written about:  Justice being seen to be done. In matters as sensitive as we made ours to be, by raising awareness to our concerns to many in authority, the principle of impartiality appears tarnished to the layman, when knowing of the circumstances, an Attorney insists on seeking advice from a senior Treasury Counsel whom he knows to be working in the same chambers as a defendant’s barrister.  It may be that lawyers are used to working on opposite sides in a court, but it is not proper, when anxieties have been expressed, to rely on such practice when the advice is crucial.  That we were refused sight of this advice, protected as it might be by privileged information, bespeaks of hidden agendas.  And it is wrong. 

How can ordinary, law abiding people, find justice, then?  They have to rely on the court’s will to implement the guidelines as set by Parliament, and that of the Attorney who should   seek to amend the failing of the court for the public good, when it is relevant.   The guidelines governing death by dangerous driving may be limited, but they are there to be used judiciously, and in Livia’s case there were numerous aggravating indicators that were willfully ignored.  Why?  Here was a child walking on a pavement doing nothing to provoke a situation. The principle now stands that a driver can drive, four wheels on a pavement, over a mere 39.5 metres, demolish property, injure, and annihilate a life, declare himself not guilty, decline to testify, be found guilty of a serious charge, a homicide, but walk away because a mere moment’s inattention gives him that right.  Why? 

The nearest we ever came to receiving an apology or an acknowledgment of a wrong done was in the High Court, by three good Judges of conscience.  Should Lord Woolf take our matter to heart, to instill changes and clarity among those who fail people like us, the innocent, we will have come a step nearer to finding some inner peace, though I say that with great trepidation and qualification, since, thus far, Livia’s loss of life, and we, have been treated so shabbily, and nothing can assuage the pain of loss and the injustice condoned.  You gave me a glimmer of hope, this morning.

I return our letters, as agreed. The most helpful, for the purpose of Lord Woolf’s involvement with his meetings with Ministers and the members of the Judiciary, is the application to the European Court of Human Rights which sets out all true details.  If Lord Woolf should require the supporting file of correspondence, including those to and from John Morris and his Chambers, our affidavits and trial transcripts, to assist a fuller understanding, you have only to let me know.  We appreciate that the current Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, is trying to do more, particularly as Lord Williams of Mostyn, gave us short shrift, and told us that our case was the business of his predecessor. 

I appeal to you to lay the purpose of our address, as you know it from our conversation this morning, before Lord Woolf.  The penultimate paragraph in our letter to S. Dolle’ may help you.  

Thank you, again, for your kind understanding.

With good wishes.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Giulietta Galli-Atkinson

 

enclosures


 

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

 

Mr Rory Munro
The Private Secretary to the
Lord Chief Justice – Lord Woolf
Royal Courts o f Justice
London WC2A 2LL

 

 

Dear Mr Munro

The attached responds to the Lord Chancellor’s letter of February 2001 regarding our complaint of bias.  You may remember I explained our reasons for including the Lord Chief Justice in our correspondence and you kindly let us know via your letter of 3 December 2001 that you had apprised him of the details of our case.

The Lord Chancellor’s reply to our concerns is not unexpected, unfortunately, but perhaps, Lord Woolf will keep his promise to remember Livia and to raise the issue of how the legal system let her and us down, and how it must not in the future.  

Yours sincerely

 

 

Giulietta Galli-Atkinson

Enclosed


 

22 September 2004

 

The Lord Chief Justice Woolf
The Royal Courts of Justice
The Strand
London WC2A 2LL

 

Dear Lord  Woolf

After six years of campaigning for tougher prison sentences on the guilty, with the release of your recommendations, we feel as if we are back to square one.

The loss of a loved one in sudden and violent circumstances is painful. When the courts deal leniently with perpetrators for financial gain, to ease congestion in courts and prisons, and have the arrogance to call this justice, the overt expendability of Life becomes outrageous.   You might call this “the domesticating of human rights”. 

We hope Government will remember that it came in on a ticket of tough on crime and on the causes of crime.  Unduly lenient sentences are not a deterrent, give comfort to criminals, alone, and perpetuate anger and feelings of injustice.  This is not mob rule or parliamentary pressure.  It is about wanting to feel that the system has integrity and that it will serve the interests of society without internal politicking, of which this smacks.

It is all very well to feel that one has the handle on the civil state and to dub public anger as parochial, but you should be standing where we are – a family, as important as anywhere in the world, that lost a 16 year old child, and sister, to someone else’s choice of behaviour, [found guilty of death by dangerous driving, a criminal who pleaded not guilty to any charge and kept his silence, who was fined [Judge Paget’s Law}.   I, the mother, have met the killer of our daughter in the street recently and have come face to face with him in a bank and have heard his irritation at my presence, his escape from public exposure because of the inconvenience to his lifestyle.   Your recommendations re-enforce such self serving mentalities and we call your recommendations naïve.

You will dismiss our protest as clamour and campaign.   Yet, we are people who grew up in the system of fair play, whereby fair play really meant recognising and respecting right and wrong, and the importance of the preservation of a Life.  How can you persuade the public to believe in judicial discretion, where common sense has failed?

Your stance is so politically and economically driven, it has forgotten what justice is about and you have sacrificed its ideals on the altar of acceptable collateral damage.  It tells us that while your experience of prisoners in prison has affected you, you have not been affected by sudden and violent loss.  The bleakest room in the house is not a prison cell above ground.  It is in a clay cell 6 x 3 x 9, underground, into which innocents are driven.

If this is where democracy is leading us to, then I no longer know what it  means.

Yours sincerely

George and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson

 

Copy to:

The Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Mr David Blunkett, MP
Mr Stephen Twigg, MP
The Sunday Times
Mr Kevin McCormac, Sentencing Guidelines Secretariat

Home Page info@clamourandcampaign.com

Site created by foxon.net