Guilty ver­dict is a les­son for all driv­ers

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

PROV­ING a charge of dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle while ex­ces­sively speed­ing and caus­ing the death and griev­ous bod­ily harm of a per­son is a dif­fi­cult crim­i­nal con­vic­tion for any pros­e­cu­tion team. It’s an area of law fraught with legalese and com­plex­i­ties and a charge that po­lice have re­peat­edly run into dif­fi­cul­ties with, es­pe­cially when con­fronted with a smart de­fence ar­gu­ment. With that murky legal back­ground in mind, in the case of the death of teenager Jessica Lance and the trial of Charles Ban­helyi, noth­ing was ever cer­tain, not least of which was a guilty ver­dict handed down in the District Court late yes­ter­day. Friends and fam­ily of Jessica will no doubt take some com­fort to­day from the sen­tence, which car­ries a max­i­mum jail term of 14 years. Clearly, the jury did not be­lieve Mr Ban­helyi’s ev­i­dence that an epilep­tic fit caused the tragedy. The ver­dict was swift and un­equiv­o­cal. Mr Ban­helyi’s guilty ver­dict is a les­son to ev­ery­one that a car is a lethal weapon and it must be al­ways treated with re­spect and re­straint. Hoons, in par­tic­u­lar, need to un­der­stand the im­pli­ca­tions of driv­ing er­rat­i­cally. For the Lance fam­ily, the past two-and-a-half years has been a dif­fi­cult and emo­tional roller­coaster. They have had to en­dure the night­mare of los­ing their daugh­ter and sis­ter in such ran­dom and un­fair cir­cum­stances. Af­ter to­day’s sen­tence, the Lance fam­ily can at­tempt some clo­sure on an­other chap­ter in this sad and sorry saga.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.