The Herald reports:
An off-road driver who admitted crashing nearly 50 metres down a steep gorge, killing his girlfriend, has today been granted a discharge without conviction, on the condition that he pays his late girlfriend’s mother $5000 in compensation.
Outrageous that he is responsible for the death of someone, and he doesn’t even get a conviction.
Brown’s mother Catherine Thomson-Bush has been devastated to lose a twin daughter – and who died shortly before her joint birthday with her sister Charlotte.
She told the court that although she has no doubt that Page loved her daughter, she had concerns about his responsibility-taking because he did not say sorry until she got a letter from him about 15 months later.
A letter his lawyer probably wrote for him.
Through his lawyer Kerry Cook, Page applied for a discharge without conviction on the basis that it would be all out of proportion to the gravity of the offence, and that it would affect his employment prospects in organic farming.
Are you kidding me? The gravity of the offence is someone is dead. And the notion that a conviction would stop you being employed in farming is farcical.
A discharge was opposed by police, but Judge O’Driscoll concluded he was satisfied that direct and indirect consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion.
“I accept that some in the community may say there needs to be a conviction because someone was killed in a car crash,” the judge said.
Not because someone died, but because someone died due to driving carelessly or recklessly.
I am in no way advocating Page should go to prison. But at a minimum he should be doing some community service, or periodic detention or home detention.
Page had travelled the 4WD track, which crosses the Arrow River 23 times and takes about an hour each way depending on weather and conditions, once several years before.
He advised Brown that seatbelts shouldn’t be worn because the track was bumpy and they would strangle her.
So that was bad advice he gave her.