A 70-year-old man responsible for the death of devoted Horsham father Aaron Jervis has avoided jail.
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Winston Warrick, who pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing Mr Jervis’ death on May 19, 2014, was on Friday convicted and sentenced to a three-year community corrections order.
Handing down his sentence at a County Court sitting in Ballarat, Judge Peter Wischusen said while an immediate term of imprisonment was usually imposed for the charge, he could not see why deterrence could not be met by a community corrections order (CCO).
Mr Wischusen said he accepted submissions Warrick’s moral culpability was at its lowest, making the case fall under the banner of exceptional.
But he said the death of Mr Jervis served as a reminder drivers had a duty to look out for others on the state’s roads.
“These circumstances should have demanded more caution on your behalf,” he said.
“It would not be in any doubt if you had taken more time you would have seen Mr Jervis.”
In sentencing, Mr Wischusen said he took into account the circumstances of the crash, including the low visibility from trees and shrubs at the Quantong-Cemetery Road and Polkemmet Road intersection, Warrick’s clean driving history and service to community, and his sorrow and remorse.
As part of the CCO, Warrick has been ordered to complete 200 hours of community work over the first two years, undergo driver-related programs as directed by his supervising officers and not leave the state of Victoria.
Mr Wischusen also cancelled Warrick’s licence and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.
Speaking with The Courier outside the court, Mr Jervis’ family members expressed their disappointment at the length of time Warrick would be without a licence.
“His minimum term is nothing compared to my maximum of wearing my husband’s wedding ring around my neck,” Mr Jervis’s widow, Fiona Jervis, said.
The court previously heard Warrick was driving north on Quantong-Cemetery Road before approaching the intersection at Polkemmet Road and colliding with Mr Jervis, who was travelling east along the road.
Travelling at 16km/h through the intersection, Warrick struck the rear door of the victim’s car, causing it to spin and roll a number of times.
Warrick immediately went to assist, but the victim had died before he could help.
He told police he looked for cars as he approached the interception, but couldn’t see the car until the last minute due to trees along the road and the sun hindering his ability to see.
Warrick's lawyer told the court his client had been driving for 50 years without incident.
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