Cy­clist killer ap­peals jail sen­tence

Multisport Mecca - - News - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@news.com.au

THE man con­victed of killing cy­clist Stephen Small has ap­pealed the sever­ity of his nine-year jail sen­tence and a non-pa­role pe­riod of four years.

Nathan Craig Mac­Don­ald pleaded guilty to crash­ing his Great Wall ute into Mr Small at Doo­nan, who was rid­ing home from work, on March 14 last year. Mac­Don­ald was con­victed of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death, ad­mit­ting to be­ing in­tox­i­cated at the time and leav­ing the scene be­fore po­lice ar­rived.

Un­der the cur­rent sen­tence, he will be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for pa­role in March 2020, four years af­ter the crash.

The case will now go to the Court of Ap­peal. A hear­ing date is yet to be de­ter­mined.

At the time of sen­tenc­ing, crown pros­e­cu­tor Sam Bain told the court Mac­Don­ald did not brake or stop when he ploughed into Mr Small from be­hind, killing him in­stantly.

Judge John Robert­son said Mr Small had no chance to take eva­sive ac­tion as Mac­Don­ald drove into him, the left side of his ute fully in the marked bike lane.

“It is be­yond be­lief that you couldn’t have known that you hit him from the sound of the bi­cy­cle drag­ging down the road,” he said.

While Mac­Don­ald has launched his own ac­tion, Mem­ber for Ma­roochy­dore Fiona Simp­son last month wrote to the At­tor­neyGen­eral and Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Yvette D’Ath seek­ing an ap­peal on the grounds that the sen­tence was in­suf­fi­cient. She also called for an ap­peal over the sen­tence im­posed on Corey Michael Sin­clair, who was a pas­sen­ger in the car at the time Mr Small was killed. Sin­clair and Mac­Don­ald had at­tacked an­other cy­clist, Rod Wil­cox, 30 min­utes be­fore killing Mr Small.

Sin­clair pleaded guilty to com­mon as­sault while ad­versely af­fected by a sub­stance and was fined $450 and sen­tenced to 60 hours com­mu­nity ser­vice.

At the sen­tenc­ing, Judge Robert­son said in “over 20 years ... this is one of the most se­ri­ous ex­am­ples of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death that I’ve come across”.

Stephen’s for­mer part­ner Yolanda Brady was left shat­tered af­ter hear­ing of the ap­peal.

“This whole le­gal sys­tem is screwed com­pletely. It’s an ar­chaic sys­tem which needs to be changed. If you take some­one’s life, four years doesn’t make up for that. It doesn’t al­low vic­tims to move on,” she said.

“It’s a farce. He got away with mur­der. It was so in­ten­tional, to get a di­luted sen­tence then have the au­dac­ity to ap­peal speaks vol­ume of his char­ac­ter.

“I thought the judge de­lib­er­ately gave the sen­tence he did so an ap­peal couldn’t be put in place.

“All I can pray for is he digs a big­ger hole for him­self and has to sit a big­ger sen­tence.

“Mac­Don­ald is sit­ting there think­ing poor him, he doesn’t get to see his kids. He clearly hasn’t had a day for a poor lit­tle boy who will never see his fa­ther again. ”

Cy­clists have banded to­gether wait­ing for an out­come to the ap­peal, call­ing for new laws which de­liver harsher penal­ties for those who de­lib­er­ately hurt or kill cy­clists.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Stephen Small with his son Os­car.

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