Justice at last for family killed by drug driver in crash
A HABITUAL disqualified driver who killed a young father and his two children after taking drugs and crashing into their parked car near Casino has had his minimum prison sentence extended on appeal.
Malcolm Joseph Harris had already been banned from driving until 2030 when he caused the deaths of 28-year-old Shaun Zagar and his children Kaleb, 6, and Zara, 5, in June 2013.
He was on parole for an 18-month unlicensed driving sentence when he crashed into the Zagars' car as they waited for a school bus.
Harris claimed to have suffered an epileptic fit, but knew he had taken methadone, marijuana and valium some time before getting behind the wheel.
He was aware taking drugs tended to trigger his seizures but decided to drive anyway.
He also had two children in the car he was driving; one received a brain injury, a broken arm and a fractured jaw in the collision.
Under the original sentence, Harris would have been eligible for parole after three years and three months and could have been released from jail in November 2016.
The NSW Court of Appeals has unanimously agreed the sentence did not fit the crime.
"His recidivism with respect to driving while disqualified displays a long-standing disregard of the law and the safety of others," Justice Christine Adamson said.
"That he was prepared to drive a car while on parole is another instance of this.
"His prospects of rehabilitation cannot be said to be good or to have measurably improved since the sentence hearing."
Harris was re-sentenced to seven and a half years prison, with a non-parole period of five years.
He will not be eligible for release until February 14, 2019.
Harris has not been visited by his partner or children since being taken into custody.
- APN NEWSDESK