Reckless driver sentenced in Busselton Court

The family and friends of Jack Barton outside Busselton Court.
The family and friends of Jack Barton outside Busselton Court.

A 20 year old Collie man has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for causing a car crash which killed a passenger and seriously injured another.

On the evening of Thursday, April 13 2017 Dean Hewson left the Collie Hotel at midnight with three passengers in his ute to take them home.

It was said in a Busselton Court that Mr Hewson left the hotel with his tyres screeching and no further than 700 metres down the road he lost control of his Holden Colorado while failing to navigate a roundabout.

Mr Hewson slammed into a tree killing Jack Barton, seriously injuring a second passenger who had to be airlifted from the scene and injured third passenger who required stitches.

Only six days earlier, Mr Hewson had been charged with reckless driving.

Judge Lonsdale said Dean Hewson had a reputation for being an excessive reckless and erratic driver, and that he disregarded the safety of others.

She took into account Mr Hewson’s age and said she would have imposed a tougher sentence if Mr Hewson was older.

“It was an act of supreme arrogance on your part that you chose to ignore the road rules which exist for the safety of yourself and others,” she said.  

“The victim impact statement was truly heartbreaking.”

Mr Barton’s mother Tarryn Sanford read out a victim impact statement at the sentence hearing telling the court she was heartbroken after her son was killed in a crash which was avoidable.

Ms Sanford said on April 14, Mr Hewson made a conscious decision to endanger the lives of three passengers in his car after he consumed alcohol.

“This decision and his deliberate, dangerous and reckless actions killed our son Jack.” she said.

“The justice system has let Jack down. How can someone responsible for killing another person get such a lenient sentence.

“Mr Hewson has given us a life sentence, he’s destroyed our lives and should spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

During the hearing, Mr Hewson’s defence lawyer Michael Laurino argued that Mr Hewson had been living a reclusive life in Collie since the fatal accident. 

Mr Laurino said Mr Hewson would carry the burden of Mr Barton’s death for the rest of his life. Mr Hewson will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence.