Friday, February 17, 2012

Suspended Sentence Dangerous Driving causing Death Where's the deterrent?

Dangerous Driving causing Death
Where's the deterrent?

"The Sentencing Advisory Council advises that people fear detection more than conviction, but with the likelihood of a suspended sentence, the perpetrator has 'nothing to fear but fear itself' Pete Dowe

Killer street race hoon ducks jail

* by: By Norrie Ross
* From: Herald Sun
* February 03, 2012 2:03PM

A P-PLATER who killed an elderly pedestrian in an illegal street race while his licence was suspended for speeding was spared jail today.

Judge John Smallwood told Raymond Grech, 26 he only escaped being locked up because of "extraordinary" delays in the case and the fact he had agreed to give evidence against the driver of another car involved in the race.

He sentenced Grech to 18 months jail, wholly suspended for two years, but he warned him that if he drove while disqualified he would have to serve the whole term in custody.

Grech was driving an unroadworthy Holden at up to 20km/h over the speed limit when he mowed down Mehmed Bajric, 78, who was walking home from his mosque.

In his County Court sentence Judge Smallwood said that witnesses spoke of hearing revving engines and loud noises as three cars raced past at speed.

One of the cars at the front of the race swerved to avoid Mr Bajric but Grech who was immediately behind him struck the Bosnian refugee.

"You drove like a hoon. You didn't even see the person you ran into," Judge Smallwood told Grech.

Grech pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing Mr Bajric's death in Station Rd, Cairnlea on March 6, 2008.

Judge Smallwood said the victim impact statements from Mr Bajric's family were powerful and they described man who was honest and hard working and who did everything he could to help his children and grandchildren.

Mr Bajric had been forced to flee violence in Bosnia and eventually settled in Australia, a country he grew to love.

"It is hard to imagine a more innocent victim," the judge said.

"A very good man is dead because of the way you consciously conducted yourself."

Judge Smallwood was Grech admitted he was driving at 10-20km/h over the 80km/h speed limit and he noted he had three speeding convictions before he knocked down Mr Bajric, and one subsequently.

Judge Smallwood said he took into account that Grech was not affected by drugs or alcohol, he came from a supportive family and he had no criminal record and excellent prospects of rehabilitation.

But he said the case should serve as a lesson to other young drivers.

"I don't think young people in your situation understand the grief and the stress and heartache driving like this causes to people," Judge Smallwood said.

He suspended Grech's licence for 18 months.

No comments:

Post a Comment