“We didn’t get justice” says sister of Chesterfield cyclist killed by careless driver

The sister of a Chesterfield cyclist and college tutor “with the warmest smile and the biggest heart” whose killer was jailed for 32 months says “we didn’t get justice”.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 9:12 am

Davina Siddall’s younger brother Peter East died in January last year - three weeks after Levi Sawyers ploughed into the 58-year-old and four other cyclists with in his car.

This week Sawyers was jailed for 32 months following the crash on New Year’s Eve, 2019.

The court heard the Holmewood youth - just 19 at the time - lost control of his Seat Ibiza speeding around a tight bend near Ault Hucknall before colliding with the riders.

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Peter East's sisters Davina Siddall and Joanne East

Prosecutor Mark Watson said Sawyers, 21, admitted doing 30-40mph on the corner however a collision investigator said 20mph was the maximum speed at which it could safely be safely handled.

Sawyers also admitted having smoked cannabis the same morning and a small amount was found in his car at the scene of the crash.

Four friends with Peter - who worked for many years at Chesterfield College - survived with cuts and bruises.

Davina, 62, described how members of Peter’s family spent three “terrible” weeks sitting at Peter’s bedside in hospital until his death.

"Loved" Chesterfield college tutor and cyclist Peter East

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Speaking about Sawyer’s sentence she said: “When the judge said 32 months we just looked at each other and our jaws dropped.

“What Levi Sawyers got was not enough for what he did - we feel we didn’t get justice. Nothing will bring Peter back but Levi Sawyers will be out in 16 months.

“We’ve waited nearly that long for this to come to court - it just doesn’t seem fair.”

Levi Sawyers was jailed for 32 months

Peter, who played for Tupton Rugby Club from a teenager, grew up in Staveley and after working as a fitter at Staveley works went on to qualify as a teacher in the early 2000s.

Until his death “highly intelligent” Peter worked at Chesterfield College as a work-based tutor and spent his days helping apprentices and students progress in their jobs.

Mum-of-two Davina, remembering her brother - uncle to 12 nieces and nephews - for his “cheeky smile”, said: “He was fantastic, he lit up a room with his sense of humour and his laugh.

"Hardworking, dedicated, strong, caring, helpful, outgoing, full of fun" Peter East

“You could talk to him about anything - he was my go-to brother and I was his go-to sister.”

During Sawyer’s sentencing this week Shaun Smith QC told how Peter’s wife Vivien East had written an “incredibly moving” victim statement about her husband.

In it she said Peter would want to know about Sawyers and would want to know “is he just a young lad who had made a mistake?”

Before passing sentence Judge Smith told Sawyers “from all I know about you, you are a good young man”.

He told the court Sawyers, who admitted causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, had never been in “any kind of trouble” and he came from a “supportive, loving and law-abiding family”.

In a statement made after the crash, remorseful Sawyers referred to Peter and his family as “my victims”.

Judge Smith said a sentence could not be “measured by revenge”, adding “I must do the best I can to do justice to all sides”.

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