Sentence extended for driver who killed teens in crash

A NOTORIOUS traffic offender who fatally ploughed into a car of teenagers will spend at least eight years behind bars after a court ordered his sentence be extended.

The news has come as some comfort to families of the three teenage friends killed but no jail time will ever bring their loved ones home.

"I'm glad he got longer but it doesn't bring him back and I have to live with that for the rest of my life," said Robyn Prior, whose son Matthew died in the crash in 2011.

Michael Daniel Henderson was sentenced to seven and a half years jail for dangerously driving his ute and killing Brittany Bramwell, Matthew Prior and Nicholas Saxby on April 8, 2011.

In sentencing Henderson last August, Ipswich District Court Judge Sarah Bradley set his parole eligibility date for February, 2015, meaning Henderson would only serve 30 months behind bars.

The Attorney-General appealed the sentence arguing it was inadequate.

The Court of Appeal agreed and on Thursday ordered Henderson's sentence be extended to 10 years jail.

He will have to serve 80% of his jail term after the court also declared his charge a serious violent offence.

In a written judgment, Justice Margaret Wilson outlined Henderson had been in an argument with a friend prior to the crash.

The friend fled the confrontation but Henderson, 33 at the time, got in his ute and gave chase along Bertha Street in Goodna.

The friend turned off into a side street while Henderson continued, running two red lights and hitting a Mitsubishi Lancer with four teenagers inside.

The teenage driver, Alex Gill, sustained six fractured ribs and a punctured lung but survived.

His three passengers, girlfriend Brittany, 17, and mates Nicholas, 16, and Matthew, 18, died.

A bystander helped pull Henderson out of his mangled vehicle and onto the footpath.

As the good Samaritan left, Henderson fled the scene but he was later arrested.

While Henderson showed little remorse once arrested, Justice Wilson wrote, he appreciated the gravity of what he had done a little while down the track.

Henderson relapsed into a heroin addiction and fled to Cape York, without telling police, where he lived as a hermit, Justice Wilson stated.

The Court of Appeal judgment also revealed Henderson's abysmal traffic record, including licence disqualification, suspension and 11 speeding offences.

Justice Wilson found in all the circumstances the sentence of seven and a half years "failed to reflect the overall criminality of the respondent's conduct".

Ms Prior said she was a "nervous wreck" in the lead up to the Court of Appeal decision.

"I think it's good but a lot of people think he should have got more," she said.



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