Sentence increase for teen who ran down cop
THE teenage boy who ran down Ipswich police officer Peter Douglas McAulay will serve more time behind bars after the Queensland Attorney-General on Tuesday won an appeal to increase the 17-year-old's sentence, with a court finding he had "destroyed" the police constable's life as he knew it.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in August 2019 to unlawfully using a motor vehicle and causing grievous bodily harm when trying to resist arrest.
He was sentenced to six months' detention for unlawful use of a motor vehicle and three years' detention for doing grievous bodily harm to Constable McAulay with the intent to prevent arrest.
The Children's Court at Ipswich last year ordered the 17-year-old be released from custody after 50 per cent of the sentenced had been served - meaning he was due for release this month..
The Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath appealed the sentence, arguing it was manifestly inadequate.
The Queensland Court of Appeal today agreed and set aside the boy's sentence for running Mr McAulay down.
The teen was resentenced to a five-year detention order and will be released after serving 50 per cent of the period behind bars.
Shockingly, the judgement revealed that while on remand the boy wrote a letter to a friend, who was also behind bars, about the incident, saying: "I stuffed up that night when I left you … at home … I should've stayed home or at least left my frank with you because I think that's half the reason what happend [sic]".
"I was off my head … You would've seen the news? It wasn't like they made it out to be. The dumb mort was still on the road. I went to go around the spikes and he still stands there trying to be superman or something haha," the teen wrote.
"Anyway's other than that I'm just kicking back in here …"
The judgement said the boy later wrote to the police officer: "Dear Constable Peter Mcually [sic]. I just want to say sorry to you and your family for the accident that has happend [sic]".
"I didn't mean to hurt you in any sort of way. I honestly didn't see you and can honestly say that it wasn't intentionally [sic]. I'm truly [sic] sorry words can't express how sorry I am to you and your family if I could go back in time and change it I would," he penned.
"I'm trying to turn my life around and I hope you can forgive me for what happend [sic] that day. I wish you a good and full recovery."
The boy was also sentenced last year for entering the home of Xu Yi-Chong and stealing electronics, robbing another person, Kian Meng Lee.
He was on bail for these offences in September 2018 when he ran down Constable McAulay, who was laying tyre spikes to stop the boy, who was driving a speeding stolen car at Booval, west of Brisbane.
Constable McAulay was dragged several metres and suffered serious and permanent disabling injuries.
"He had been knocked unconscious and was admitted to an intensive care unit where, for a long time, he lay in a coma," Queensland Court of Appeal president Justice Walter Sofranoff said in the judgement.
"His spine was fractured in more than one place. His right leg was also fractured in a number of places and his knee was dislocated. His right arm was fractured and an artery in his left arm was severed. His jaw was fractured and he lost several teeth and other teeth were cracked. His natural bite became misaligned. The right side of his face was fractured, involving his eye socket, cheek and upper jaw. His nose and sinuses were injured so as to affect his breathing. A large portion of his skull had to be removed and could not be replaced for eight months, which has caused him great pain."
Mr McAulay continues to suffer from the injuries, the judgement read.
"His short term memory has been affected. He loses situational awareness. His language has been affected. Eating has been painful. There has been a painful process of dental therapy. His hearing has been affected…," Justice Sofranoff said.
"Before this, Constable McAulay had been an active and energetic man who engaged in many physical activities, such as mountain biking, camping, skydiving and skiing.
"A career with the Queensland Police Service was consistent with his character and personality.
"He had also worked with the Australian Defence Force.
"His life as he had lived it, and as he had expected to go on living it, was destroyed and he must now rebuild it as best he can."
The court found the fact that the victim was a police officer and the offence was committed to stop him doing his duty was not taken into consideration in the original three-year sentence.
The judgement said despite the letter the child wrote to a friend about the offence from behind bars, his contrition for the offence was genuine.
The court found the letter was "disturbing" but could be described as "bravado calculated to show a friend that he was undismayed by his arrest".
"… This letter holds little significance for evaluating (his) future prospect of reintegrating with the community. (He) now has ambitions for his adult life and has been introduced to the means to achieve them. He has shown adequate promise upon which to base optimism about his future growth into worthwhile manhood," the judgement read.
Originally published as Sentence increase for teen who ran down cop