A judge has removed the disqualification imposed on a drug-affected driver who killed one person and seriously injured another in a horror Central Queensland crash 5½ years ago.
Gympie District Court Judge Vicki Loury QC yesterday removed the licence disqualification imposed on Glen Michael Robin Condon by then District Court John McGill SC on 3 August 2017.
The court was told Judge McGill sentenced Condon to four years and six weeks’ imprisonment after entering pleas of guilty to charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and grievous bodily harm, leaving the scene after the collision and drug-driving.
Judge McGill, who noted Condon had 341-days in pre-sentence custody, ordered his driver’s licence disqualified for five years.
Judge Loury, who referred to Judge McGill’s sentencing remarks, said the offences committed by Condon were very serious.
“At 4.38 am on 10 April 2016 the applicant was driving a semi-trailer when he collided with the rear of a Toyota van whilst both were travelling south on the Bruce Highway,” Judge Loury said in her five-page written decision.
“(Condon) had been working. He had delivered a load to Townsville on 9 April 2016 and was on the return journey home, after having had a few hours’ sleep, when he caused the collision.
“The van into which he crashed was travelling well below the speed limit. (Condon) attempted to overtake the van however struck the right, rear corner of it, causing the van to veer off the road and impact with a tree.
“The passenger died and the driver sustained very serious injuries amounting to grievous bodily harm. (Condon) stopped at the scene (at Koumala, 60m south of Mackay) and approached the van on foot to within a few metres and observed the injured persons.
“He then drove from the scene without providing any assistance to the injured persons. (Condon) however did telephone an ambulance and provided some information as to the location of the crash, but lied indicating that he had witnessed the collision rather than having caused it.”
Condon, 43, of Kilkivan, 220km north-west of Brisbane, represented himself during his application to remove his licence disqualification.
Judge Loury said Condon, who was released on parole on 5 June 2018, had now been in the community for three years and four months. He had committed no criminal or traffic offences during that time and had been without a licence in the community for a lengthy period of time.
“(Condon) owns his own semi-trailer and has the offer of employment carting grain in Goondiwindi from paddock to silo. He has indicated that the position involves drug testing,” she said.
“He states that he has a better outlook on life now and appears in his presentation to me excited by the prospect of employment after such a significant period of time spent in the community without a job and little access to transport.
“(Condon) has a legitimate purpose for wanting the disqualification lifted as he has an offer of employment. The probabilities favour the exercise of my discretion to remove (Condon’s) licence disqualification for a number of reasons.
Judge Loury said the reasons included:
- the long period that he had now spent in the community without a licence and without committing any traffic offences or being convicted of any criminal offences
- that he had been deprived of the ability to drive for a significant period, including a period extending beyond his term of imprisonment
- that Condon appeared committed to his own rehabilitation and had taken steps to demonstrate that by engagement with a psychologist over a significant period of time
- that he resided in a regional town where there was no public transport, which had limited his ability to gain employment
- and that he now had the offer of employment.
Judge Loury, in granting the application, said: “(Condon) has, in my view, been punished sufficiently to satisfy the community’s demand for punishment.
“By again holding a licence the (Condon) will be able to contribute in a positive way to the community, which will contribute to his rehabilitation.
“My orders are that the applicant’s licence disqualification imposed on 3 August 2017 be removed as of 20 October 2021.”
Read the decision.