Driver jailed for fatal crash

Stephen John Robins

Stephen John Robins

THE father of a man killed in a car crash four years ago says he can finally move on with his life after a drawn-out court case.

Andrew Powell was killed in February 2010 when his vehicle was struck by a car driven by Stephen John Robins.

Robins, 45, was yesterday sentenced to two years jail, with 12 months suspended for one year, after previously being found guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

He had faced a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Colin Powell said while the verdict would not bring his son back, he was glad the ordeal was over after more than four years.

“It’s been bloody horrendous quite frankly,” he said outside the Wangaratta court.

“It’s been made hard, that’s all, I think (the delay) has probably made it a lot worse.

“Our whole lives have been on hold.”

He said he “didn’t feel anything” towards Robins.

The victim’s stepmother, Eileen Powell, cried after the verdict was read out and said she was relieved.

“We haven’t been able to go forward and move on,” she said, “we’ve got to live our lives now”.

The Wangaratta County Court heard Robins had a prior conviction for dangerous driving, three drink-driving convictions and seven speeding offences.

In sentencing Robins, Judge Chris O’Neil said the latest offence was at the lower end of conduct constituting dangerous driving causing death.

“Your prior traffic offences are a matter of concern,” he said.

“Although the last offence was in 2005, some five years prior to the collision, they nonetheless reflect scant regard for the rules and regulations which require people in this state to drive in a safe and sensible manner.”

The judge accepted Robins was remorseful for the incident, which he cannot remember.

“Your remorse is evidenced by your clear distress in the course of the record of interview,” he said.

“I further accept the evidence of the various witnesses called on your behalf who spoke of the impact upon you of carrying the burden of Mr Powell’s death.”

The father of three was given a chance to farewell loved ones before starting his sentence yesterday.