News

DPP to look again at sentence of driver who killed family

Shaun Zagar, with children (left) Kaleb, 6, and Zara 5.
Shaun Zagar, with children (left) Kaleb, 6, and Zara 5. Contributed

THE OFFICE of the Director of Public Prosecutions is preparing a report for the director regarding the sentencing of Malcolm Joseph Harris.

The director will soon decide whether an appeal will be made, according to Andrew Zagar, who noted the family's meeting with the public prosecutor has been postponed.

Mr Zagar's son Shaun, 28, and grandchildren Kaleb, 6, and Zara, 5, were killed by Harris in June last year while waiting for a school bus at Dyraaba, near Casino.

Harris, whose defence claimed his epilepsy contributed to the crash, has a chequered driving history, was on parole at the time of crash and was also banned from driving until 2030.

His daughter, who was travelling with him at the time, is recovering from brain injuries.

On August 19 Judge L.Wells sentenced Harris, 37, to eight years in jail, but considering time served and that his sentences will be served concurrently, he could be out on parole by March 14, 2016.

The rotten scum that took you away from us only got three years! We, all of us, are appalled, shocked and downright disgusted at this sentence

- Kira Newbold, mother of two children killed in Dyraaba fatal

Since The Northern Star broke the story of Harris's lenient sentence, media coverage and public outrage has snowballed nationally and internationally.

Kira Newbold, the mother of Kaleb and Zara, took to social media to air her frustration.

"My Babies. My Angels. The system failed us," she wrote.

"The rotten scum that took you away from us only got three years! We, all of us, are appalled, shocked and downright disgusted at this sentence.

"Where is the justice? Where is the fairness? We are fighting tooth & nail for your justice."

Mr Zagar, who believes Harris gave "contradictory evidence in court", said: "I feel that Kira hit the nail on the head - she would like to see 10 years' jail per person killed.

But he knows a sentence that harsh is a pipe dream.

"We hope this appeal will succeed, but if it doesn't everyone will know and it will take off," he said.

"Exactly how high the sentence is doesn't really matter, it will never replace our family, but how low it was is an insult.

"There's a real community uproar mounting now and we need to send a deterrent out there."

Mr Zagar thanked the community for their support".

Topics:  dyraaba fatal



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