BOBBIE Brown’s family has every right to be livid.
Nothing will ever bring their beloved wife and mother back and, in that sense, no sentence would ever be adequate for having someone so close to you taken away in such tragic circumstances.
But in handing down a nine-month jail term, along with a two-year community corrections order, to Aaron Bell in July this year, Judge Michael McInerney at least gave the family just the tiniest sliver of solace – that the premature death of Mrs Brown deserved time behind bars.
Judge McInerney said Bell breached his basic obligations by failing to give way when turning right, striking Mrs Brown, who was walking along a pedestrian crossing at traffic lights in Wangaratta.
“This death came about by way of momentary inattention by Mr Bell, but involved a serious breach of obligation as a driver, which put the public at risk,” Judge McInerney said at the time.
It’s hard to imagine the pain that Peter Brown and his family must feel at that decision. After going through 18 months of hell after the accident in January 2017, to have Judge McInerney’s verdict overturned in the blink of an eye could be interpreted as a kick in the teeth.
We received a letter for this page in July which, in part, read: How does our legal system decide whose life is worth more? How do two men being Brock Kusen and Aaron Bell face the same charge of dangerous driving causing death, one who is found guilty by a jury the other pleads guilty, receive two different sentences for the same offence? How does our justice system decide which woman’s life being ripped away from their loved ones is more ‘criminal’ than the other?
We wish we had the answers.
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