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

41 minutes ago
West Ham's Patrick Conners and Tony O'Driscoll celebrate at the Hull Box Cup

Club enjoys impressive medal haul

United Kingdom
41 minutes ago
France's Dimitri Payet (centre right) celebrates scoring their winner against Romania at the Euro 2016 finals in Paris (pic: Empics)

Serie A club openly reveal they would like to sign French attacker while Michy Batshuayi set for Chelsea move

Dimitri Payet
09:00
Asha Philip celebrates after winning the women's 100m at the British Championships at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (pic: PA)

Philip, Ellington, Grabarz and Yousif

Brazil
41 minutes ago
Ex UEL student Alice Watson was supported by the university when she needed it most.

Former University of East London (UEL) student Alice Watson is an advocate of early intervention for mental health issues.

11:12

Should flower arranging determine which school a child can attend?

House of Lords
10:55
East Ham MP Stephen Timms.

For more than 150 years, east London has been shaped by railways. High Speed 1 made it possible to host the 2012 Olympics at Stratford. We can all see the big changes now under way there. Crossrail will have a big impact when it opens in 2018-19. Heathrow will be less than an hour from Manor Park or Custom House.

Victoria
10:14

With the long summer holiday around the corner, I am sure parents are looking for suitable childcare arrangements if they are in work and/or opportunities to occupy their children during the long break.

09:00
Athena Stevens

A disabled playwright is seeking legal advice after claiming London City Airport left her without a wheelchair for seven months, costing her more than £70,000.

Glasgow

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Read more
Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe