Search

Video: Family of hit-and-run victim Christopher Ritchie demand justice

07:00 16 April 2014

Left to right: Sharon Ritchie, 45, Patricia Moses, 44 and Carole Moses, 50

Left to right: Sharon Ritchie, 45, Patricia Moses, 44 and Carole Moses, 50

Archant

The family of a hit-and-run victim are calling for the law to be rewritten as the hunt for his killer continues.

Rebecca Ritchie, 16 and Patricia Moses, 44, with a picture of Christopher Ritchie who was killed in a hit-and-run in NovemberRebecca Ritchie, 16 and Patricia Moses, 44, with a picture of Christopher Ritchie who was killed in a hit-and-run in November

Christopher Ritchie, 52, a father-of three, of Heath Road, Chadwell Heath, was run over and killed on the pavement in Forest Drive, close to Manor Park station, while walking to work at City of London Crematorium last November.

Now his wife Sharon has spoken for the first time about that day.

She said: “There are no words to describe the devastation I’m feeling.

“As long as I live I will never get over it because Chris was such a big part of my life. I wish the driver had died in his place because of the 
intense pain he’s caused me and my family. If we had a deterrent like hanging there’d be fewer crimes.”

Christopher Ritchie, who was killed by a stolen car last yearChristopher Ritchie, who was killed by a stolen car last year

A man, thought to be the driver of the car – a stolen Ford Focus – was seen running away from the scene.

“In the hands of a criminal a car is more dangerous than a gun.

“People can die a slower death from being hit by a car, or even left paralysed for life, and yet the sentence is much lighter.”

There is no specific charge for killing or injuring someone in a hit-and-run crash, although failing to stop after a crash is an offence.

The crime scene in Manor Park.The crime scene in Manor Park.

If someone does flee the scene, police then have the difficult job of proving his or her driving was below a certain standard in order to charge him or her with death by careless, or dangerous, driving.

Sharon’s sister Patricia Moses, 44, said: “The driver deserves to hang slowly for what he’s done. After a few years of living comfortably he’ll be out [of jail] and free from it all, but we’ll always have to live with it.

“The sentences for killing are nowhere near tough enough.

“I will fight forever. Even if it takes me to my dying breath, I want to see justice.”

Christopher and Sharon would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this summer and had been planning a three-week holiday at a family-owned apartment in Spain.

Sister-in-law Carole Moses, married to Sharon and Patricia’s brother Dale – best man at Christopher and Sharon’s wedding – works as a driving instructor and drives past the scene nearly every day. “There’s just a big void in this family that will never be filled,” she told the Post.

“To have him ripped away like that without any reason or warning is horrible, but to know his killer is still out there is just too much.

“It’s been five months now but it feels like yesterday.”

Christopher left his home about 7.05am on November 20, leaving Manor Park station 7.30am on his way to work at the cemetery where he had worked for 15 years.

Sharon added: “I heard on the radio there had been an accident and I remember thinking, ‘I hope something hasn’t happened’.

“Then the police came round and even then I was expecting them to say there had been an accident and he was in hospital. When they told me he had already died I just dropped to the floor.”

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said: “Knocking someone down and leaving them to die at the side of the road is an abhorrent crime.

“Yet we have a justice system which incentivises drivers to flee the scene of the crime, knowing that they may well face a paltry two- year maximum sentence for hit-and-run.

“We need hit-and-run killers to face the same 14-year maximum sentence as other killer drivers, with an assumption that if they fled the scene, they caused the crash through dangerous driving.”

Read More

Sister-in-law speaks of Manor Park hit-and-run victim Christopher Ritchie from Chadwell Heath

Hit and run victim named as Chadwell Heath father-of-three Christopher Ritchie

More than 100 hit and run casualties in Barking and Dagenham in 2012

Latest Newham Stories

Paul McCallum celebrates after finding the net for Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor).

English Football League Trophy Southern Group G: Leyton Orient 3 Stevenage 1

Alex Cisak
Yesterday, 18:00
Jameel Shah

Sports therapy student Jameel Shah has traded the University of East London for the University of Windsor, in Canada, for the summer.

University of East London
Yesterday, 16:30
Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir knocks the ball forward against Charlton Athletic. Pic: TIM REDER

O’s captain Robbie Weir set to make first appearance in two weeks and will hope to show he is back to full fitness now

Andy Hessenthaler
Yesterday, 16:00
Robert Mear of Lakeside Hammers has been ruled out for the season (pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)

Hammers place youngster in starting line-up for remainder of season

Robert Mear
Yesterday, 14:30
London City Airport  (Pic: Gareth Fuller/ PA)

One of the borough’s most important companies is hoping to take business confidence sky-high.

Yesterday, 14:00
Dean Cox celebrates his goal for Leyton Orient against Stevenage on August 16 (pic: Simon O'Connor)

O’s League Two rivals Stevenage make trip to Brisbane Road for second time this month for Southern Group G fixture

Andy Hessenthaler
Yesterday, 12:00
Armand Gnanduillet left Leyton Orient earlier this month to join League Two rivals Blackpool (pic: Simon O'Connor).

With Moore leaving Brisbane Road, will 19-year-old Freddy Moncur now get an opportunity?

Andy Hessenthaler
West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini

The Hammers could have been thumped by Manchester City but came away with pride intact

Slaven Bilic

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Read more
Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now