Was 25 months enough for manslaughter?

The sentencing notes for Mark Hayden are a terrifying and sad read.

Hayden was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter despite not being the driver of the car. His cousin (who also died) was the driver. But the facts make clear they were beyond reckless. It was almost inevitable they ended up killing someone.

Basically they drank two bottles of vodka and dozens of people called the Police about their driving. The driver tried running other vehicles off the road.

When finally pulled over by Police they refused a breath test, abused the Police, tried to run the officer over and then took off. The car went across the centre line and killed the 72 year old driver, along with his cousin who was driving.

The driver, Stephen, was seven times the legal limit and Mark Hayden was five times the legal limit (four hours after the crash). Now Hayden wasn’t driving but he was clearly encouraging his cousin and just as reckless.

If he was the driver, a 25 month sentence would be ridiculously low. It still seems low considering he spent hours in a car with a drunk driver egging him on.

But when you read the notes he has never been in legal trouble before. He has three school age children. He is very remorseful and unlikely to reoffend. So maybe the end result is about right?

His initial sentence was 54 months but he got 10% off for his remorse, 20% for lack of prior offending and good previous character, 8% off for having to serve his sentence away from his family in Australia and 25% off for his guilty plea.

I really don’t know. The actions of him and his cousin were beyond reckless. Killing someone seemed almost inevitable and a family lost their father because of the two of them. But would having him serve longer achieve anything?

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