19.2 C
Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Family angered by fatal-crash sentence

Latest News

Ballina Shire Council defs not a ‘boys’ club’, says outgoing female councillor

This person is claiming that the council is a 'boys'' club and that the out-going mayor is one of them.

Other News

Entertainment in the Byron shire for the week beginning 1 December, 2021

All your entertainment news in one brilliant place

Leigh Thomas says political affiliations not relevant to Council decision making

Leigh Thomas is the lead candidate for Group M running in the upcoming Tweed Shire Council elections. Mr Thomas...

Ballina council votes for waterfront affordable and social housing

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to ask for state government commitment on waterfront affordable and social housing as part of a marina upgrade.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full...

Frontline workers

I’ve just read an ABC News article re the ‘burn out’ of Australian nurses. For the last two years...

Thousands gather at Ballina MMAMV rally

Around 2,500 gathered at Missingham Park in Ballina to hear MMAMV speakers before marching to the Ballina police station and then making their way back to the starting point for more speakers.

The family of a young father and his two children killed in a car crash at Dyraaba last year has hit out at the sentence handed down yesterday to the driver responsible for their deaths.

Malcolm Joseph Harris, 37, who faced three counts of dangerous driving causing death, could be out of jail in less than two years after his sentence in the Lismore District Court.

Judge L Wells told the court Harris should have known not to get behind the wheel because the drugs he was on could have affected his epilepsy.

It is believed Harris suffered an epileptic seizure moments before his car veered off the road and smashed into the stationery hatchback, killing Shaun Zagar, 28, and his children, Kaleb, 6, and Zara, 5,  as they waited for a school bus west of Casino in June last year.

Mr Zagar’s family said they’ve been devastated and angered by what they described was a lenient sentence and told media they would appeal against it.

Andrew Zagar, Shaun’s father, told media the sentence did not send ‘a strong enough community message to stop this happening’ and warned others with medical conditions not to drive if influenced by drugs.

‘We’re gutted. It’s not fair he got such a lenient sentence, he knew what he was doing,’ Mr Zagar said.

APN Media reported that Harris, from Kyogle, was sentenced to five years jail for two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and one of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

He received an extra three years and four months jail, with a non-parole period of two years, for another charge of dangerous driving occasioning death.

Judge L Wells took into account the time Harris spent in custody and Harris will be eligible for parole in March 2016.

Harris’ lawyers told the court that his epilepsy contributed to the crash and that Harris’ daughter also sustained brain injuries in the crash.

Judge Wells, according to APN Media, took Harris’ early guilty plea and apparent remorse into account as mitigating circumstances when sentencing.

But she said Harris, who had been convicted for driving whilst disqualified at least six times since 1995, knew he had sporadic epileptic blackouts and should not drive.

Judge Wells also said that trace amounts of drugs in his blood at the time of the crash would not have impaired his driving.

(An earlier court hearing was told Harris was on drugs at the time of the crash).

Medical experts, according to APN, agreed Harris’ impulse control was reduced due to a brain injury from being kicked by a horse as a child, which resulted in epilepsy.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Yes someone who has been “convicted for driving whilst disqualified at least six times since 1995, knew he had sporadic epileptic blackouts and should not drive” does deserve more time in jail. Otherwise he’s just going to get out and do it all over again. Recalcitrant.

  2. I have just received a letter from the Justice Dept. concerning the lax sentence given to an offender who hit and run a mother of two, a sentence of 18 months. Should you read between the lines, the Govt. does not care.
    The Attorney General role as the First Law Officer of the State does not extend to his intervention in matters that concern another Minister responsible for that Office.

    In other words, BUCK PASSING, What the Govt. is saying “When you drive on the roads, it is your own fault if anything happens to you.” If you want Justice on our roads, don’t drive on them, simple.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Entertainment in the Byron shire for the week beginning 1 December, 2021

All your entertainment news in one brilliant place

Grumpy Grandma’s 

There are few in the region who aren’t familiar with Grumpy Grandma’s olives. Tim Stone and his wife Lynne produce these olives and extra...

Calming Curry

Live music has been in short supply for a while, and like many other things you may not have missed it until it was...

Byron Supper Club

Bryce Hallett The Byron Supper Club is set to return and transport audiences to a magical and exciting realm akin to some of New York’s...