A GRIEVING widow says motorists responsible for road deaths deserve to be put behind bars - after seeing the driver whose car killed her husband walk free from court.

Father and husband Paul Patterson was riding his beloved Piaggio scooter and on his way to see a friend when he was killed in a crash with a Lexus on the B4019 near the Freke Arms on June 2 last year.

It was the moment his widow, Lorna Knowles-Patterson, said her world stopped turning.

The man responsible, Toby Clay, of Skinners Close in Hannington pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and appeared before Swindon Magistrates' Court on May 4 for sentencing.

Instead of a prison sentence, the 20-year-old was ordered to complete 200 hours community service, told to pay a £95 victim surcharge and hit with a 12-month driving ban.

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Lorna, 43, has now started a petition to change the law because she feels that even though Clay was sentenced within the current guidelines for 'momentary inattention' this doesn't adequately reflect the damage caused by his actions. 

"When we realised what his sentence was it was heartbreaking," Lorna said. 

"My daughter walked out the court room, she couldn’t hold herself together, my son grabbed my hand, everybody sort of gasped."

The devastation Paul's death has caused for the West Swindon mother and her two children, Lauryn, 22, and Liam, 17, is summed up by the victim impact statement she read out in court were she stated they'd been given a 'life sentence'.

This Is Wiltshire: Paul with children Lauryn and LiamPaul with children Lauryn and Liam

Lorna said: "Not only has Paul's life been taken, my life and that of my children has stopped. Our son, Liam, paces the house at night and sleeps all day.

"He keeps asking me, “Is this real?” or “Why did Dad have to be taken?” There are no words that exist to describe the magnitude of the pain. Seeing your children suffer and being unable to do anything to alleviate their pain is every parent’s nightmare.

"Lauryn, our daughter,  is struggling with it all massively, she tries to be strong but her heart is broken, I keep finding her out in her car or in the garden sobbing, she just wants to talk to Paul, she always went to him for advice."

"We still cannot comprehend how or why this happened and are living in a state of disbelief and indescribable grief. We have been given a life sentence as a result of someone else’s thoughtless actions."

Lorna pointed out the impact his death has had on the wider family and Paul's friends as well.

The Change.org petition which calls for stricter sentencing for those who take a life in crashes caused by their carelessness has been named 'Paul's Law' and has already received 1,146 signatures. 

In it Lorna wrote: "Where the level of carelessness is low and there are no aggravating factors, even the fact that death was caused is not sufficient to justify a prison sentence.

"This is so wrong on so many levels. How can a family of a loved one sit back and watch the lowest sentence be handed out, when someone has been killed? 

This Is Wiltshire: The happy familyThe happy family

"The law needs to be changed, there needs to be some kind of custodial sentence for an offence when a life has been taken."

You can view and sign the Paul’s Law petition here - https://www.change.org/p/paul-s-law-change-the-sentencing-for-death-by-careless-driving