After 21 months locked up, the drunk driver responsible for the death of 15-year-old Brianna Waddington has been released on parole.
After 21 months locked up, the drunk driver responsible for the death of 15-year-old Brianna Waddington has been released on parole.

Drunk who killed girl released on parole

THE drunk learner driver responsible for the death of 15-year-old Brianna Waddington has been released from jail on parole.

Jade Jaye Sward was 20 years old when he lost control while driving through Old Beach in July 2017, with his car leaving the road, flipping and hitting a power pole.

Ms Waddington, who was sitting in the back, died almost instantly from multiple blunt force injuries to the head.

Sward, who had been drinking continuously for nearly 15 hours, was jailed for three-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of half that time.

The Gagebrook youth became eligible for parole on June 10 after serving one year and nine months behind bars.

In its decision released late on Wednesday, the Parole Board of Tasmania said while Sward's actions had "serious and devastating consequences", the youth had prospects for rehabilitation and had shown remorse and insight into the effect on Ms Waddington's family.

Brianna Waddington’s mother Tracy, centre, with family and friends at the Supreme Court sentencing of Jade Jaye Sward.
Brianna Waddington’s mother Tracy, centre, with family and friends at the Supreme Court sentencing of Jade Jaye Sward.

The board said Sward had been a minimum-security prisoner, had behaved well while in prison with no internal offences, and had been assigned to several jobs during his sentence including off-site at the Botanical Gardens and at external areas of the Risdon Prison site.

It also said he'd been employed in the prison store, had worked as a senior hand in maintenance, and staff had noted he had a strong work ethic.

"The impact of the applicant's behaviour on the family of the young victim is significant and the loss of a young life is a devastating event the family are unlikely to ever recover from fully," the board said in its decision.

"However, in balancing all factors, the board is of the view the applicant demonstrates good prospects for rehabilitation and a willingness to acknowledge and take responsibility for the impact of his offending."

Sward was paroled from June 20 with conditions he engage in drug and alcohol treatment and counselling.

Ms Waddington, of West Moonah, was described by her family and friends as outgoing, kind-hearted, and as "a beautiful 15-year-old girl with a big bright future".

amber.wilson@news.com.au

 

Originally published as Drunk driver who killed 15yo girl released on parole



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