A devastated mum has slammed a six month jail sentence imposed on a lorry driver who was texting his girlfriend moments before crushing her teenage daughter at a pedestrian crossing.
Darren Foster, 38, was jailed for dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice after a court heard he had also tried to delete the messages to cover his tracks as 13-year-old Hope Fennell lay dying beneath his truck in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Hope's mum, Nazan, said Foster had turned his 18-tonne truck into a 'lethal weapon' by sending text messages while travelling at speeds of 55mph on Birmingham roads.
She said he should have faced a manslaughter charge.
"He was on the phone while driving something lethal, which he knew had got the potential to kill," she said.
"He made that choice, it's like picking up a gun. Hope didn't stand a chance.
"The fact he was not charged with Hope's death after he tried to pervert the course of justice shows the system is not right."
Hope, a pupil at Queensbridge School, died on November 7, 2011 as she crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing.
Foster was having a text argument with his girlfriend at the time and pulled away at the green light without seeing the teenager.
Hope was trapped under the wheels of the truck and died of her injuries.
Scared his text conversation would be used as evidence against him, Foster climbed back into his cab as the schoolgirl lay dying, to delete the messages.
Nazan said: "She was mangled under the wheels and he got back in the cab and deleted those texts. He was only thinking about himself.
"I don't know if I will recover from this. I'm devastated by the result.
"I don't have a family left. I live in a haze, I live in denial that she'll come back home."
Judge Andrew Menary QC, said the sending of messages from behind the wheel of a truck posed a clear danger.
He said: "I accept you would have not been able to see Hope as she moved into the carriageway, you were not to blame.
"The fact no earlier accident occurred is the result, in my view, of good fortune rather than any indication your driving was not seriously compromised."
Foster was jailed for two months for the dangerous driving charge and for four months for perverting the course of justice. He was told he would released after serving half of his sentence.
Last summer Nazan launched a campaign to improve safety measures at the spot where her daughter died.
She said: "I believe I have lost my child because safety was not taken as seriously as it should be.
"I think that all HGVs should be fitted with sensors to detect pedestrians in a blind spot, and the council should ban lorries from the High Street at peak times."
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