THE mother of Violet-Grace Youens has praised the St Helens community for backing the family's petition calling for life sentences for drivers that kill - and has asked the public to keep sharing the campaign to reach 100,000 signatures.

Violet-Grace, from Eccleston, died on Saturday, March 25, 2017 after being struck by a stolen car on Prescot Road on Friday, March 24.

The man behind the wheel of the car that killed Violet-Grace was given a jail term of more than nine years but her parents say the sentence was not long enough.

On Friday, they launched an e-petition calling for parliament to consider the creation of Violet-Grace’s Law, which would give the courts the powers to jail people convicted of causing death by dangerous driving for life in the most severe cases.

St Helens Star:

The petition has already reached 15,483 signatures, with television presenter Amanda Holden and Toronto Wolfpack rugby league player Ryan Brierley sharing the petition via Twitter.

The current sentencing guidelines for someone convicted of causing death by dangerous driving state the maximum jail term is 14 years.

Speaking to the Star, Violet-Grace's mum Becky Youens said: "We always thought about doing this since we were told what the possible sentences for them both were and were shocked and horrified that they would only face such a short time.

"My beautiful little daughter lost her life, hopes and dreams. And my mum has life changing injuries which will never be fully repaired, both physically and emotionally.

"We could never have expected to have so many signatures so soon and we are overwhelmed by the continued support we have been shown by everyone, especially in St Helens, since the beginning.

"We want to make this change in Violet's memory, so Violet-Grace's Law can be the difference in someone else getting the justice we didn't get and my mum never got.

"Violet has been let down, not by the police or the judge, but by the laws which prevent those people who could show people like them what damage they have caused.

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"[Her death] was not an accident, it was not a one off, they had been driving recklessly and that day they killed my daughter, so why does the punishment not reflect that better than it does now?

"The punishment doesn't fit the crime and that's the bottom line.

"If you haven't signed please do, everyone who has an email can sign and people who share an email address can vote for each person.

"I hope Violet is proud of us, I love her so much and will keep fighting to keep her memory alive forever."