Drunk, unlicensed driver killed unborn baby
A MAN four times over the limit who caused his female passenger to lose her unborn baby in a serious car accident will walk free from jail after only 16 months.
John Christopher Webb pled guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm in the Bundaberg District Court on Wednesday.
The court heard the pregnant woman's 23-week-old foetus was killed and she suffered permanent injuries when the car Webb was driving slammed into the back of a tractor while he attempted to overtake it.
The car became embedded in the in the stakes at the back of the tractor and together the vehicles "slewed" down the road for 135m before coming to a stop.
In outlining the facts, Judge Michael Rackemann said "one of them (stakes) intersected with the head of the pregnant woman".
"She sustains life threatening injuries, her injures were to her head, right eye, facial injuries, chest injuries and abdomen injuries.
"She was 23 weeks pregnant and lost the child as a result."
Judge Rackermann described Webb's actions as "foolhardy to the point of criminal".
He said the sorry events of November 12, 2013 began after Webb accompanied his friend to Bundaberg but his friend was sentenced in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court and unable to drive his car home.
"The defendant made some attempt to find someone to drive it because both he and his dad who was with him weren't licensed," he said.
"They asked the woman who was with them if she'd drive and she didn't want to so he decided to drive even though he was unlicensed.
"The car they were driving had an alcohol interlock on it." "He knew he'd been drinking, although he didn't think he was drunk, he was in fact heavily intoxicated as indicated by the later test revealing he was driving at 0.217%.
Judge Rackemann said the pregnant woman had been was foolish for blowing into the interlocking device and allowing someone who had been drinking to drive her somewhere when she was pregnant. "
That was a foolish thing for her to do but does not excuse your criminality," he said.
The woman was left with permanent damage to her right eye.
"The result of the collision was catastrophic for her," Judge Rackemann said.
Webb was sentenced to four years jail suspended after 16 months, of which has already served more than 12 months. He was also disqualified from driving indefinitely.