10 September 2007
They stole a car, careered around the busy streets of Bermondsey in it, then ploughed into an innocent family, killing toddler Billy Donnelly.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that this was just teenage antics that got way out of hand. Lewis Zotiades, the driver of the stolen vehicle, and his sidekick Andrew Alhmamda may have been respectively sent to prison and given a detention and training order this week, and quite rightly so, but where were the words of apology to Billy’s parents for shattering their lives? Where was the acknowledgement that what they did robbed an eighteen month old baby of his entire life? There were none.
Then again, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to the Donnelly family, given that the two culprits fled the scene immediately after the accident. Their families must be deeply ashamed of their actions.
Billy’s parents, Dennis and Sharon, praised the work of the police and the support they received from local people, their MP, and the emergency services. It is pleasing indeed to see justice being done, for their sake.
They now have to rebuild their lives as much as possible, though this scar will remain with them and their children forever. Parents who read here what reckless kids joyriding can do to people’s lives - take good note.
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