A truck driver jailed over a crash that killed a British tourist and seriously injured four others at Portland North has appealed against the length of his minimum prison term.
Peter Buckley, 62, was found guilty by a jury in the Warrnambool County Court in August last year of culpable driving causing the death of Mary Driver, 56, and charges of negligently causing serious injury to four other people.
He was jailed for 11 years and ordered to serve at least nine years before being eligible for parole.
Buckley suffered from blackouts and déjà vu episodes which he failed to reveal in an appointment with a neurologist a month before the 60-tonne B-double he was driving collided with three cars stopped at roadworks on Portland-Nelson Road in March 2018.
On Monday Buckley's barrister Michael Turner submitted to the Supreme Court court of appeal that the nine year non-parole period was manifestly excessive, making up 81 per cent of the total effective sentence.
He said it was difficult to argue that the head sentence of 11 years was excessive, but the minimum term was well above the minimum acceptable non-parole term of 60 per cent of the head sentence.
The case of truck driver Mohinder Singh was also discussed, in which four police officers were killed, but that case involved a 22-year head sentence with a non-parole period or 18-and-a-half years.
It was conceded by Mr Turner that a longer head sentence for his client would not be outside the range.
Mr Turner said Buckley was 62 years old, had no criminal history except for driving matters consistent with someone being a professional driver, was remorseful, suffered post traumatic stress disorder, a major depressive disorder and was not expected to ever drive a heavy vehicle again.
"It does appear that 81 per cent (non parole period) is outside the range. I'm not sure I can take the matter much further. It's not that complicated from one perspective," he said.
Barrister Kathryn Hamill submitted on behalf of the Office Of Public Prosecutions that the appeal should be dismissed and 60 per cent non-parole period was only a starting point for sentences.
She said the head sentence of 11 years could have been greater due to the accumulation caused by the four counts of negligently causing serious injury.
Justice David Beach said during the hearing that a nine-year non-parole period was "very high" in a case involving an 11-year head sentence.
He said there was not a word in the sentence imposed by Judge Claire Quin to explain that high non-parole period.
Buckley has already served about 700 days in custody.
Last year the family of Mrs Driver told The Standard a much-anticipated holiday to Australia to celebrate her retirement was tragically cut short in the horror crash, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of her family and friends.
"She is a big part of our lives and she will be missed by so many," Mrs Driver's husband Marcel said.
The court of appeal justices have reserved their decision which will be handed down on a date yet to be scheduled.
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