No jail for fa­tal ute ac­ci­dent

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - CRAIG DUN­LOP

A MAN who was driv­ing a ute on a re­mote stretch of high­way with six peo­ple in the back and ma­jor steer­ing com­po­nents dis­con­nected will not see the in­side of a jail.

James Parry, 49, has been handed a sus­pended sen­tence in the Supreme Court more than two years on from a fa­tal ac­ci­dent that saw a close rel­a­tive killed when his un­road­wor­thy ute veered off the road and into trees.

Crash in­ves­ti­ga­tors es­ti­mated Parry’s Toy­ota Hilux was trav­el­ling about 70km/h when its steer­ing failed, lead­ing to a crash in which four peo­ple were thrown from the ute’s tray. Two of the in­jured were flown to Dar­win, one of whom died. Crown Pros­e­cu­tor Matt Nathan SC said Parry had not held a li­cence since his learn­ers li­cence ex­pired in 1993.

Jus­tice An­thony Gra­ham said Parry “does seem to have tra­versed the crim­i­nal calen- dar” with con­vic­tions for tres­pass, “street of­fences”, prop­erty of­fences, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and “all sorts of driv­ing of­fences”, but that he had seem­ingly turned a new leaf when he be­came a Chris­tian and quit drink­ing.

Parry had also pleaded guilty to driv­ing un­li­censed at Bor­roloola Lo­cal Court in re­cent weeks.

Jus­tice Gra­ham said it was “sur­pris­ing that he should drive when fac­ing th­ese charges”.

“He has to live with the fact that as a re­sult of his driv­ing some­one has died, some­one he knew well died, some­one who is re­lated to his part­ner died,” Jus­tice Gra­ham said.

De­fence lawyer Jalal Razi said the ute was rarely taken on the high­way.

Jus­tice Gra­ham handed Parry a two-year and three­month sen­tence, fully sus­pended on a con­di­tion he be of good be­hav­iour and dis­qual­i­fied him from driv­ing for two years.

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