Family's emotional fight for justice tabled in Parliament
A PETITION signed by almost 8000 people calling on the AG to appeal the sentence handed to a driver who killed Coolum woman Sharon Cuthbert in 2017 was tabled in Parliament yesterday.
In tabling the petition, Ninderry MP Dan Purdie gave an emotional account of the lasting impact Mrs Cuthbert's death has had on the wider community, as her husband, Michael, and daughters watched on from the Public Gallery.
Last month the driver responsible for the tragic accident, Andrew David Muirhead, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years jail. He will be eligible for parole in 12 months.
"It is clearly evident from the overwhelming support this petition has generated that justice has not been served in this case, with the sentence falling well short of community expectations," Mr Purdie said.
"In his Victim Impact Statement which he shared with me, Michael agonisingly reflects on the past two Christmases without his wife and the mother of his daughters, while the motorist has been free to go about his life.
"Michael and his daughters have visited Sharon's grave hundreds of times. The girls bring things to show her, like a Student of the Week award. But girls need their mothers, and Michael must now call upon other women in his life to help guide and advise his girls on topics he admits he knows nothing about.
"He says his girls have been denied the right to learn from their mother, and questions why the rights of offenders are not dealt with in a similar way.
"The man who killed Sharon has delayed court proceedings by failing to show up, and has re-offended since. At the time of the accident, he was found to have traces of alcohol and meth, and a substantial traffic history.
"And in 12 months he will be a free man.
"Rather than relying on cold, impersonal and heartless letters from her staff, I challenge the Attorney General to personally respond to Sharon's family and their pleas to see justice served, not only for Sharon, but for all those families who've been dealt a life sentence by offenders who show such callous disregard for the law."