DPP v Callick [2019] VCC 2143

Sentence summary: Culpable driving

A psychotic driver who killed his friend in a high-speed crash was sentenced to jail.

Daniel Callick, 44, pleaded guilty to one charge of culpable driving causing death after crashing into a tree at Geelong in July 2018.

The offender was sentenced to eight years and six months prison with a non-parole period of six years.

The car was travelling at more than 160 km/h and split in half on impact, fatally injuring the 42-year-old passenger, Matthew Bloom.

The victim, a close friend and brother-in-law of the offender, died from his injuries the next day.

The Court heard the offender was experiencing a psychotic episode after using methamphetamine in the hours leading up to the crash.

Witnesses reported the offender’s vehicle travelling dangerously fast along the Princes Highway.

“You said that you were being chased, that you had someone after you and if you were speeding, that was why,” the presiding judge said.

The crash devastated the victim’s family, which was highlighted in the victim impact statements presented in court, the court heard.

“The shock of his death has been even harder for his family to bear because, occurring in a collision like this, it was so pointless, and avoidable,” the judge said.

The offender’s reckless driving and drug use significantly aggravated the charge of culpable driving, the judge said.

It was acknowledged the offender’s difficult and disadvantaged childhood which was marred by alcohol abuse and violence.

The offender was also credited for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity and for his remorse.

“They are genuine and deeply felt expressions of remorse and regret and acknowledgement, a full acknowledgement of responsibility for having caused your friend's death,” the judge said.

The principle of general deterrence was the primary purpose of the sentence.

“If only people could see, and learn from this … if they drive when impaired by methamphetamines and at a recklessly excessive speed, that they too will leave a trail of broken lives behind them, including their own, and carry a burden of responsibility that is far greater than any finite punishment a court can mete out,” the judge said.

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Page last updated: 4 May 2020