Broken Head crash appeal

THE rehabilitation of the teenage driver who received a two-year jail term after he crashed his car killing four of his mates will be hampered if he has to serve time in an adult prison, his lawyers say.

The now 20-year-old, who cannot be named, was the sole survivor of the crash south at Broken Head on October 22, 2006.

His four friends – Paul Morris, Corey New, Mitchell Eveleigh, all 16, and Bryce Wells, 17 – were all killed.

Yesterday, he appealed to the Sydney Court of Criminal Appeal for a sentence reduction.

He is currently serving his sentence in juvenile detention, but is set to be moved to an adult jail when he turns 21 in April.

“Our focus has been on his rehabilitation,” his solicitor, Ralph James, told journalists outside the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.

“We fear that, even with the best endeavours, going into an adult jail where deterrence or correction is the focus, he may lose the benefit of all the significant rehabilitation that has happened so far.”

His barrister, Nicolas Harrison, asked the court to reduce his client’s sentence by just over three months so he could complete the term in juvenile detention.

The court has reserved its decision.

If his appeal is unsuccessful, he will be eligible for release in January 2011.

Rob Wells, the father of Bryce Wells, yesterday said he would wait until the judgement was handed down before making public comment.

“We just have to wait and see what the appeal judges come up with before we can do anything,” he said.

Without venturing a personal opinion on whether the court should grant the appeal, Mr Wells noted the judge that convicted the youth had said he wanted the full term served, even though that meant part of it would be served in an adult prison.

“He said it was a very minimal sentence that he gave him and he said in his summation that he should fulfil the whole sentence,” Mr Wells said.

“We’ll see what happens. He (the youth) has every right to appeal.”

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