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Lawyer fined for fatal hit-run!!

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Lawyer fined for fatal hit-run!!

Old 04-28-05, 01:01 AM
  #1  
Dutchy
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A PROMINENT Adelaide lawyer who killed a cyclist in a hit and run and failed to stop has been fined $3100 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Eugene McGee, a former police officer, sat expressionless as his sentence was delivered by Chief Judge Terry Worthington in South Australia's District Court.

McGee, 50, was driving a four-wheel drive vehicle when it was involved in a fatal collision with father-of-two Ian Humphrey in SA's Barossa Valley in November 2003.

McGee, a lawyer who has acted in high profile criminal cases including the Snowtown bodies-in-barrels trials, did not stop at the scene and was arrested by police some six-and-a-half hours after the collision.

The lawyer was earlier this month acquitted of dangerous driving but found guilty of the lesser crime of driving without due care.

McGee had earlier pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to render assistance.

Judge Worthington today gave McGee a $2300 fine for the failing to stop and render assistance charges, and an $800 fine for driving without due care.

McGee's driving licence was suspended for 12 months on each charge, but Judge Worthington said the licence disqualifications would be served concurrently.

Earlier today, the widow of the dead cyclist confronted McGee in court, saying she did not hate the lawyer but pitied him.

Giving a victim impact statement during sentencing submissions in the court, Di Gilchrist told McGee: "You killed my husband."

"I do not hate you, I pity you," she said as she stood about a metre away from McGee in the courtroom today.

"I wake up in the hope that this has all been a bad dream.

"I would give up all my tomorrows to have one more day with Ian."

McGee told his trial he had been drinking wine at a lunch hours before the collision, but did not consider himself affected by alcohol.



CHEERS.

Mark

I should also point out that the driver was never breath tested. An internal Police inquiry is underway do find out why.
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Old 04-28-05, 01:04 AM
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Nice to see that your judicial system is as far away from actual Justice as ours is. </venomous sarcasm>
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Old 04-28-05, 01:38 AM
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Disgusting. Dispicable. Disgraceful.

Imagine this: man has lunch with mother and friend at pub in premier wine region. On returning home, hits cyclist who later dies. Fails to stop (others did). Calls lawyer and family on mobile phone shortly after. Hands himself into police hours later. Receives $3000 fine (which you'd spend in a return flight to Sydney, a nights accomodation and meal or two out at lawyer standards) and a license suspension.

IMO, if this was a twenty-something male driving a modified Subaru WRX this would not have been the outcome.
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Old 04-28-05, 01:47 AM
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That's what the system in the US is all about too. That's why drunk drivers only get a fine and a 6-month suspension. Get them back on the road as soon as possible! We can't lose the revenue in Americar!
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Old 04-28-05, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by AdrianB

IMO, if this was a twenty-something male driving a modified Subaru WRX this would not have been the outcome.
That is unless this Fred was his old man
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Old 04-28-05, 02:36 AM
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Since some of his actions (failing to render assistance) go beyond being a bonehead driver and go to character, why don't one of you Aussie's report the guy to whatever authority supervises lawyers (it may be a bar association, a court, or something else). The standard of proof may be lower and there's a chance you may get his law license suspended (at least for a little while).

It clearly isn't perfect, but it might be a way to make him suffer a little more.

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Old 04-28-05, 03:17 AM
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That'll teach him to be more careful!!!
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Old 04-28-05, 08:09 AM
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Every time that I read one of these stories, I feel like making a contribution to MADD. Sometimes I do too.
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Old 04-28-05, 08:29 AM
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Wow. $3100 is all it takes to get away with manslaughter.

-K
 
Old 04-28-05, 08:37 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Wow. $3100 is all it takes to get away with manslaughter.

-K
Yup, Koffee, life is just as cheap Down Under as it is Stateside.
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Old 04-28-05, 08:48 AM
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Wow. I just thought about it. That's even less in US dollars.

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Old 04-28-05, 09:10 AM
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Until penalties for hit-and-run are more severe than for drinking-and-driving, there will always be huge incentive for every drunk who hits somebody to just take off.

Happens here with dismal frequency—one fairly notorious case was a guy driving with a suspended license from one of his previous drunk-driving convictions. Ran over and killed a little girl rollerblading on a country road, went home, sobered up, called his lawyer—who is probably on speed-dial—and got off with a fine. (Driving without due care and attention, failing to remain at the scene of an accident.)

The people who make a living doing "law" don't seem inspired to act on this.
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Old 04-28-05, 09:26 AM
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Well there is a law for the Rich peeps and a law for us ```` he got off with nothing
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Old 04-28-05, 09:34 AM
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Hey, at least we have our priorities straight here in the U.S. Soon, you'll might go to jail for up to 10 years for recording movies in theaters. We rule.
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Old 04-28-05, 09:41 AM
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Revolting. Just revolting.

I hope there's at least going to be a wrongful death suit coming out of this. If the criminal system is going to give this sonofab*tch a slap on the wrist, the civil system needs to make him pay.
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Old 04-28-05, 11:01 AM
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The reason why they don't doll out the punishment is because they don't take cyclists seriously and they don't take drunk driving seriously. If all you get is a fine, that's not going to deter alcoholics from driving. There's no real risk of punishment!

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Old 04-28-05, 11:17 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Wow. $3100 is all it takes to get away with manslaughter.

-K
Yeah but it's cheaper in Canada and the US... both places only charge you $1000 per cyclist.

BTW the fine for littering in CA is also $1000... so hard to tell if an errant motorist is being charged for reckless driving or littering...
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Old 04-28-05, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
The reason why they don't doll out the punishment is because they don't take cyclists seriously and they don't take drunk driving seriously. If all you get is a fine, that's not going to deter alcoholics from driving. There's no real risk of punishment!

Koffee
Too true. In most cases a drink driving charge here gives you 6-12 months suspended licence plus a fine. More for repeated offences, but just not enough initially to deter people from doing it again.
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Old 04-28-05, 10:03 PM
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I don't understand all the venom about drunk driving and getting away with stuff. The penalty should be the same, whether they're drunk, or not. The drunk driver made a stupid, negligent decision before they got into the car. The sober driver made a stupid, negligent decision a split second before the accident.
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Old 04-28-05, 11:31 PM
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I could understand if he hit the cyclist, by accident. **** happens. You get punished for it, but sometimes, it's unavoidable.

But hit and run? I believe that the penalty for hit and run should be VERY severe. Hit and run is a concious decision you make to try to RUN from the accident. It is not a mistake or a slip up, it is a deliberate action. What is wrong with people these days?
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Old 04-29-05, 01:44 AM
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It's actually much more serious than it sounds.

Mr McGee is a lawyer, an ex-public prosecuter and policeman, so he worked for both the DPP and the police.

The police did not breathe test the driver after the accident because he knew them, even though they have to after all accidents, and they tested the corpse of the cyclist.

The DPP (Department of Public Prosecutions), took statements from witnesses that said the driver was speeding (160km/h) and swerving all over the road, but did not call these witnesses to court.
One of the defenses was that McGee was overtaking at the time. But the witness said he was 70m behind the car, and not overtaking. The Crown Prosecuter did not ask this question, even when the witness volunteered the information in court !

When this was pointed out by the media, the DPP sent letters threatening to imprison people for 'bringing the court into disrepute'.
The Police have refused to reprimand the police constables involved, and have threatened with legal action anyone discussing the case.

The Government has refused an independant inquiry, saying that one will only be held if the DPP and Police ask for one.
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Old 04-29-05, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by john999
It's actually much more serious than it sounds.

Mr McGee is a lawyer, an ex-public prosecuter and policeman, so he worked for both the DPP and the police.

The police did not breathe test the driver after the accident because he knew them, even though they have to after all accidents, and they tested the corpse of the cyclist.

The DPP (Department of Public Prosecutions), took statements from witnesses that said the driver was speeding (160km/h) and swerving all over the road, but did not call these witnesses to court.
One of the defenses was that McGee was overtaking at the time. But the witness said he was 70m behind the car, and not overtaking. The Crown Prosecuter did not ask this question, even when the witness volunteered the information in court !

When this was pointed out by the media, the DPP sent letters threatening to imprison people for 'bringing the court into disrepute'.
The Police have refused to reprimand the police constables involved, and have threatened with legal action anyone discussing the case.

The Government has refused an independant inquiry, saying that one will only be held if the DPP and Police ask for one.
wow - if even half of this is true, there is a major corruption problem at work here that goes beyond a simple hit-and-run. Sounds like some Aussies need to clean their governmental house!
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Old 04-29-05, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by aiguy
wow - if even half of this is true, there is a major corruption problem at work here that goes beyond a simple hit-and-run. Sounds like some Aussies need to clean their governmental house!
Been the same all over the world for many years -- remember OJ? Justice is like any other commodity that can be bought and sold by whoever has the means to pay for it, and it's always been the same. I recall reading a quote from William Shakespeare about exactly the same thing once.

Regardless of that, I can't say this incident surprises me. There was quite a precedent set here in Queensland with a number of these incidents last year (and earlier this year). The saddest part is that so many cycling groups actually contribute to this problem with their apparent determination to refer to this sort of incident as an "accident". A ready-made defence if ever I've heard one.
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Old 04-29-05, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by genec
Yeah but it's cheaper in Canada and the US... both places only charge you $1000 per cyclist.

BTW the fine for littering in CA is also $1000... so hard to tell if an errant motorist is being charged for reckless driving or littering...
Yeah, well I'm sure that corpse really makes the road look a lot uglier.
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Old 05-02-05, 05:10 PM
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This just goes to confirm what I've been saying all this time. The easiest way to murder someone is to just run them over in your car. Conscience aside, there really isn't anything to prevent anyone from getting away with it.
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