THE counsel for a truckie whose negligent driving killed three cancer patients in a minibus at Elizabeth Town last year has argued that his client received a "manifestly excessive" sentence.
Counsel John Fraser, for appellant Harvey John Charnock, said in the Launceston Supreme Court yesterday that there were three additional reasons why magistrate Simon Brown had erred in sentencing Charnock.
Charnock, 55, of Waverley in Queensland, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court in June to having caused death by negligent driving and having caused grievous bodily harm by negligent driving in September 2012.
Charnock also pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the lack of a safety chain between his truck and trailer, and 25 charges relating to his failure to properly maintain his work diary.
Mr Brown convicted and jailed Charnock for nine months, with three months suspended for two years, but the defence had wanted a wholly suspended jail term.
Yesterday Mr Fraser told the Supreme Court that Mr Brown had considered matters which might have been relevant for the more serious offence of reckless driving.
He further argued that a wholly suspended jail term was "not an exercise in leniency".
Mr Fraser also said that Charnock's wife had a serious medical condition which required a great deal of care.
"My client is the only person in Australia who can provide this care," he said.
Counsel Simon Nicholson, for the respondent, Tasmania Police, said Charnock's actions had "devastating consequences", killing three people and seriously injuring four more.
"This case was extremely serious and the penalty imposed was within the magistrate's very wide discretion," Mr Nicholson said.
Justice Robert Pearce said he would need more time to consider the additional grounds which the appellant had raised.
He will deliver his decision on October 28 at 9.30am.
The Bass Highway crash killed Cancer Council Tasmania minibus passengers Lynn Lutwyche, 65, John Dickson, 69, and Dorothy Butters, 84.Email: email@example.com