‘Justice’ quest for hit-and-run victim

The late Louise Wolstenholme
The late Louise Wolstenholme

A campaign has been launched to secure a tougher jail sentence for a killer driver.

Tinashe Chikoto admitted causing the hit-and-run death of 52-year-old Louise Wolstenholme in Bolton town centre earlier this year.

Tinashe Chikoto, jail term is not long enough say victim's family

Tinashe Chikoto, jail term is not long enough say victim's family

But family were outraged when the Bolton Crown Court judge sentenced him to 22 months for causing death by careless driving and perverting the course of justice.

Chitiko, 22, of Devonshire Road, Atherton, had been charged with causing Louise’s death by dangerous driving but after denying that the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge.

His family are now organising a petition demanding an appeal against what they regard as an unduly light sentence. Son Gareth said: “This petition is about getting justice for Louise: a loving mother, partner, sister and friend to many. She had a heart as big as her personality and will be devastatingly missed.

“We had hoped to receive justice at the sentencing of Tinashe Irvine Chikoto. But he received a sentence of just 16 months for death by careless driving and six months for perverting the course of justice for the horrific and tragic killing of our mum.”

The case made national headlines because Louise collapsed in the street and several vehicles swerved round her without stopping before Chikoto’s car hit her. The vehicle carried on driving with Louise’s body trapped underneath for 100m. The driver later claimed he thought it was a bag of rubbish. But he then stopped, abandoned the vehicle and fled, reporting the Focus stolen.

Gareth said: “Our family attended Bolton Crown Court to finally get some justice for Louise. But instead we have been left with the heartbreaking prospect of Chikoto being released from prison in nine months’ time.

“This is not justice. Every decision on that horrific night was to cover his tracks: self-preservation! He showed no remorse throughout the sentencing. His extremely lenient and unjust sentence was met with smiles from his mother towards a grieving family when his sentence was read out.

“Our family ask that our friends, our neighbours, relatives, supporters, members of the public to help us get a higher/tougher sentence or even a re-trial for manslaughter.”

To sign the online petition - which already has more than 7,000 signatories - look for Justice for Louise Wolstenholme on the internet.