Would the Court of Appeal increase a dangerous driver’s jail term? Which case won?
Vehicle driven with three passengers, none wearing seatbelts
On an evening in 2015, a 19-year-old man was driving the streets of a small country town in a single cab utility motor vehicle, with two passengers in the cabin not wearing seatbelts and a third passenger seated on a toolbox in the back tray.
The driver did not own the vehicle, but had driven it several times and was familiar with it and with the road he was driving along. The driver was the designated driver and had not been drinking that evening.
Driver accelerates to 104 km/h and loses control of vehicle
The driver had accelerated to a speed of 104 km/h in a 60km/h zone and when the ute hit a crest in the road its front suspension lifted and the vehicle began swaying from side to side. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled four or five times until it stopped upside down and slid on its roof into an irrigation canal.
The accident resulted in the death of two passengers and serious injury to the third.
Driver sentenced to non-parole period of 20 months
The driver was charged and pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and one count of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. The maximum sentences for these offences was ten and seven years respectively.
The sentencing judge in the District Court imposed a total term of imprisonment of three years and two months for all three charges, with a non-parole period of one year and eight months.
The driver was also sentenced for two related offences of negligent driving under section 117(1)(c) of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), which related to the driver having driven with a person on the back tray on two separate occasions that same night.
In relation to these charges, the sentencing judge imposed convictions without further penalty and disqualified the respondent from driving for the automatic period of three years.