Charlotte (left) and Sophie together at university

The devastated friend of a young student killed in a horror car smash has hit out at the Prison Service over its plans to move the man responsible to an open prison just a year into his sentence.

Charlotte Hope was killed when her car was hit head on by Ashley Kosciekowski, who was driving at up to 90mph in his BMW while on cannabis on the A53 near Shrewsbury.

But just over one year into his six-year jail term, they were told by the Prison Service that Kosciekowski was to be moved to an open prison “for good behaviour” with Charlotte’s family and friends given just days notice.

Now it appears they have back-tracked on that plan after pressure from family and the media and moved him to a Category C prison instead.

Her close friend Sophie Goodwin, from Aston, in Nantwich, hit out and said there was “no justice for the victims”.

Sophie, who met Charlotte at university, said: “Charlotte’s family have been lied to throughout on the timescales. They were aware of our growing unrest, but they pushed ahead regardless.

“Charlotte’s family and friends, as you can imagine are totally distraught and angry.

“Of the paltry three years and two months he was supposed to be in prison for (Class B), he has served only one year and one month.

“This is justice we are told.

“We have a life sentence, with the loss of Charlotte. There really is no justice for the victims.”

Charlotte Hope in Kenya
Charlotte Hope in Kenya

Charlotte, originally from Shawbury in Shropshire, was studying Primary Education with Sophie at Edge Hill University at the time of the crash.

Sophie added: “She was the most amazing and selfless person, she was going to become a primary school teacher, and teach in Kenya.

“Her dad has a charity called Taking Football to Africa and Beyond.

“Charlotte has made many trips over her short life, with her dad visiting Kenya, with the charity.

“I went to Kenya last year (April 2023), and I am going again this year March 2024, both in memory of Charlotte.

“It was the most incredible experience, I just wish I had Charlotte by my side for it.

“We have raised over £50,000 in Charlotte’s name for Restart Africa since she left us, a children’s home in Kenya, where children are saved from the streets.

Sophie Goodwin on visit to Kenya in memory of Charlotte
Sophie on visit to Kenya in memory of Charlotte

“We now have raised an extra £5,000 to start a charity in Charlotte’s name, called Lottie’s Way – the money
from this will go towards children and young adults all around the world, to help them with necessities and to get them through school.”

Kosciekowski was jailed in December 2022 after admitting charges of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to six years and eight months. He will be eligible for release on license after serving half of his sentence.

The family and friends began their media campaign to highlight what they feel was an injustice at plans to move the offender to a category D “open” prison.

Sophie added: “The recent update is that he has been moved back to a Cat C prison but we haven’t been told why.

“We can imagine it is just temporary, it may possibly be because of our start with the media, or something else, again we have no answers, and Neil and Helen do not get told anything – they’re shut in the dark.

“He will be eligible to go home at weekends and then at as normal with a tag at home fully, which is crazy when you think about it!

“Six years and four months was a horrifying sentence to begin with, but for him to not even have done half of his acquired sentence is crazy.

“We know prisons are full, and that they are struggling, but it isn’t fair.

“Current issues like the Nottingham attacks and the post office scandal just goes to show, victims are consistently being failed by the criminal justice system.

“We also want to raise our voice, not just for Charlotte and justice, but so it’s aware, that this is happening to people.

“And maybe we can stop it, because it’s the family and friend’s victims that are the ones with a life sentence and pain, rather than the criminal.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice told Nantwich News Kosciekowski remains in a Cat B closed prison for now, but declined to comment further.

Charlotte with her mum and dad
Charlotte with her mum and dad just weeks before her death

One Comment

  1. Seems Charlotte Hope’s family have not had justice – six years for the perpetrators crime. Oh, he has good behaviour – only because he wants to reduce his time spent in prison – NOWT else. He will do the same again, speed and take drugs.

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