Family demoralised by killer's sentence

22 November 2013 5:24 AM

37 0

Family demoralised by killer's sentence

Two weeks after Kieran Loveridge's four-year manslaughter sentence caused community outrage, another Sydney family has been left demoralised by the sentence meted out to their mother's killer.

Former rugby league star Joe Thomas has hit out at the justice system after the man who killed his 71-year-old mother was jailed for at least five years on Friday.

Mary Touma, described as a "loving and selfless person", was walking along a footpath at Eastlakes in May 2010 when a cyclist, Daniel Paul Wood, confronted her and pushed her over, causing her to hit her head on concrete.

The previously active and healthy grandmother died in hospital the following day from massive blunt force head injuries.

Sentencing Wood to at least five years jail in the District Court, Judge Michael King said his conduct was "unprovoked, callous, gratuitous".

"Ms Touma was an elderly vulnerable female going about her ordinary daily life, entitled to expect that she would not be confronted or assaulted in the manner in which she was," Judge King said.

"(Wood) was cycling his bicycle on a footpath that he should not have been riding on."

Wood was initially charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the first day of his trial last year.

As a result, he only received a five per cent reduction in his sentence for this "very belated" plea.

Setting a maximum jail term of six years and eight months, Judge King noted there had been a number of court cases in which victims suffered fatal head injuries in similar circumstances.

Any reasonable person must have realised that applying such force to a 71-year-old woman would expose her to serious risk, he added.

Wood, who the court heard had consumed an unknown quantity of alcohol that day, told a psychiatrist he swerved to avoid Ms Touma and nearly went on to the road before she "barked" at him, sparking the incident.

When asked why he did not help her afterwards, Wood replied, "That's the $20 million question, isn't it? ... She's one of many strangers you pass in a day."

This statement also showed his "callous" attitude, Judge King said, adding Wood had shown no remorse.

Family members wept in court as the sentence was handed down, while Wood made no reaction.

"In my view, the sentence imposed is the lowest possible appropriate sentence that could be imposed," Judge King said.

Speaking outside court, Mr Thomas said the family was extremely disappointed with the sentence, despite being prepared for such an outcome.

Earlier this month, Kieran Loveridge was sentenced to at least four years for the one-punch killing of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross last year.

"I just don't think the justice system is in tune with the community," Mr Thomas told reporters.

"At some stage as a community we've got to stand up and let our politicians know this is unacceptable.

"I'd like to ask the public what crime do you need to commit to get a 25-year sentence for manslaughter?

"It's a bit demoralising for the family when we've got to live with it for the rest of our lives."

Source: au.news.yahoo.com

To category page

Loading...