DPP v Allen [2018] VCC 1992

Sentence summary: Culpable driving

A drunk driver more than four times the legal limit has been jailed after he killed two young women.

Malcolm Allen, 69, was jailed for 11 years with a non-parole period of seven years after he collided head-on with another vehicle, killing 18-year-old Nikita McAlpine and 15-year-old Kelsey McAlpine.

The incident occurred on the Omeo Highway while the offender was driving towards Benambra.

The offender had been drinking throughout the afternoon of 24 September 2017 with multiple witnesses telling the court the offender had been slurring words and stumbling before getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol reading of 0.210.

The presiding judge accepted the offender had made the conscious decision to drive while heavily intoxicated when he failed to turn a corner properly and veered onto the wrong side of the road and directly into the path of the victim’s Subaru.

The two young women died instantly.

The judge said due to the serious nature of the offending, a significant jail term was needed in order to adhere to the principals of deterrence and totality, which were the primary considerations when sentencing.

“Somehow or other this sort of behaviour has to be stopped,” the judge said.

Victim impact statement from the victim’s parents gave context to the grief and sorrow the offending had brought.

An early guilty plea and genuine remorse was accepted and ultimately reduced the final sentence, the judge said.

The judge also accepted the fact that the offender’s age and relatively clear criminal history meant that his chance of reoffending was “basically zero”.

“But the fact of the matter remains that if people choose to drive in this way and have this effect of destruction on others, then they are going to have to live with it,” the judge said.

The judge dismissed the notion that the offender had a lapse in concentration.

“This is not the momentary lack of attention of answering a mobile phone or playing with a car radio, or changing a tape, or dropping a cigarette into your lap or anything like that,” the judge said.

“No matter how you may have considered it yourself, it was a conscious decision to drive in circumstances where you must on any basis have been aware that you were at least significantly affected by alcohol and as I have pointed out and has been pointed out clearly in this matter, the effects have been catastrophic.”

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Page last updated: 4 May 2020