Dad meets son’s killer in prison 5 years on from horror crash death

Joe Cairns, 14, from Radcliffe, died in a crash on the M58 in Bickerstaffe, West Lancashire, in January 2019 after the minibus he was travelling in was hit from behind by a HGV driven by James Majury.

Joe and a support worker, Anne Kerr, were killed and five others were badly injured in the crash.

Bury Times: Joe CairnsJoe Cairns (Image: Andy O'Dell)

Records showed Majury, of Milton Road, Coppull, had been using his mobile phone throughout his journey.

He had sent texts, made calls, played games, checked flights and been on Facebook.

Majury was sentenced at Preston Crown Court in August 2020 to eight years and 10 months after pleading guilty to two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and five offences of causing serious injury.

Bury Times: James MajuryJames Majury (Image: Lancashire Police)

Joe’s father, Andy O’Dell, 54, decided to meet Majury in prison through the restorative justice scheme, five years on from his son's death.

He said: “I went into it because I needed answers to why because when he was in court he never got to speak because it didn’t go to trial.

“So, it was answers I needed to get from him. The questions I wanted answering weren’t asked in court.

"Joe was needlessly and senselessly killed.

“I wanted to see if there was any remorse and that’s what I got.”

Meeting Majury and seeing him apologise in person helped Andy to find a purpose in life again as previously he could not cope with Joe’s death.

He added: “It was helpful meeting him. For me it’s given me my life back, as a person I changed because I didn’t get those answers.

“I was at the bottom of the barrel and given up and I wasn’t myself.

“If anyone wants to do it and they’re in that mindset, and want answers, do it.”

Andy believes anyone caught on their phone while driving should receive an immediate ban.

He now gives talks and shares his story to highlight the dangers of using a phone at the wheel.

Andy added that Majury has served four years in prison and will be eligible for release in July.


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