COMMENT: Justice system failing victims

EARLIER this year I sat through four days of the trial of Bronya Schoner.

On day four, and after earlier telling the court she was not guilty of causing the fatal crash, the Victorian woman changed her plea to guilty.

But this was only after the court had heard damning evidence that contradicted her claims of innocence.

It was after Katie Holley - the daughter of the woman killed in the crash, and whose sister fought for life for 10 months - was forced to testify and relive the moment her mum was killed beside her.

The court heard Schoner had traces of meth in her system and had driven for 18 hours straight.

She was reportedly aggressive toward paramedics who tried to help her at the scene and complained about screaming at the crash site.

During the trial and even after her plea, there was little to indicate Schoner was remorseful for her actions.

A judge has now declared that forcing Schoner to serve her original sentence - a total of two years jail for killing a woman and causing serious life-changing injuries to another - is "manifestly excessive".

I'm not sure our community would agree with this statement.

Australian courts rely on past cases to determine sentencing but it's clear this system is failing us.

Sentences for serious crimes rarely reflect community expectations.

Offenders who take the lives of innocent people, particularly those who do so through recklessness and negligence, should be given penalties that reflect the value of a human life.

If they don't, justice has not been served to victims and their devastated families.

And then, what is the point?

Kerri Moore, Warwick Daily News Print Editor


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