Mum’s petition for justice over teens’ deaths

CRASH VICTIM Daniel Atkinson who was killed in January 2006.
CRASH VICTIM Daniel Atkinson who was killed in January 2006.

A grieving mum will continue her fight for justice for her son when she takes to the streets of Dewsbury tomorrow.

Daniel Atkinson, 17, and his friend Jade Rice, 17, died in January 2006 when a speeding car driven by their care worker smashed into a lamppost.

An inquest held in 2008 heard Mohammed Tanwir had been driving at 80mph or more in a 40mph area when he lost control of the car.

Coroner Roger Whittaker concluded that the teenagers had been unlawfully killed, but he would not 
refer the case to back to 
the Department of Public Prosecution.

A judge had previously ruled that there was insufficient evidence to put a charge of causing death by dangerous driving before a jury, and Mr Tanwir had been acquitted of a lesser charge of failing to stop during a trial at Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court.

In 2010 the then Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC also blocked a request for further legal 

But Daniel’s mum Linda Hawker has not given up on her battle to see Mr Tanwir prosecuted.

“It was the anniversary of Daniel and Jade’s deaths last month,” she said.

“We’ve waited eight years already and I thought ‘I’m not going to wait anymore’.

“My New Year’s resolution is to try to get something done as quickly as we possibly can.

“We had got somebody to set up a petition online, but I just got frustrated because I wanted everybody to sign 

“I wanted to do something so we can go out on the street and get signatures.”

Together with Daniel’s friends, she will be heading out into town and city 
centres in West Yorkshire over the next month to 
drum up support for a petition destined for Downing Street.

Miss Hawker, of Westgate, Wakefield, decided to begin her mission in Dewsbury because Daniel had lived in Healds Road for several years.

“Most of his friends lived there,” she said. “They’ve made t-shirts for us all to wear tomorrow.”

They will be in Leeds on February 22, Huddersfield on March 1 and Wakefield on March 8.

The families’ barrister Naeem Shiraj, who is working pro bono, is also looking into the possibility of filing a court order to have Crown Prosecution Service and police files on the crash released.

Visit to sign the petition online.