An Irish drink-driver who failed to stop at an intersection, killing his 18-year-old passenger and seriously injuring another, has been jailed for more than eight years.
Mark Doughty, now 26, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool County Court on Wednesday, September 27 to culpable driving causing death, negligently causing serious injury and drink-driving.
He was sentenced the following day to eight years and two months' jail.
The man has served 62 days in pre-sentence detention and must serve a non-parole period of five years and four months.
The court heard Doughty had an entrenched drinking problem since coming to Australia on a working visa three years earlier.
Doughty had been working at Cobrico but was set to fly home the day after the fatal crash in June 2022.
He was drunk and failed to stop at a Cobden stop sign, colliding with another vehicle being driven by a bar tender who had served them drinks at Thomo's Hotel just hours earlier.
The front-seat passenger Max Boggs, 18, was ejected from the car and died at the scene.
The rear passenger suffered a broken jaw, six broken ribs and a fractured pelvis.
None of the men were wearing seat belts.
Judge Kevin Doyle said Doughty did not intend to drive through the stop sign and his failure to do so was a by-product of his intoxication.
He said the man made the decision to drive after drinking "in an unrestrained way for hours".
"You were a danger to your passengers and any other drivers," he said.
The judge said Doughty had been disqualified from driving in February 2022, just four months before the fatal collision, after he was caught drink-driving in Western Australia.
"It is an aggravating factor. It elevates your moral culpability in choosing to drive after drinking so much alcohol, not long after you were dealt with by a court and disqualified for just that," he said.
"You disregarded that clear message."
Referring to victim impact statements, the judge said Boggs was much loved by his family and their lives had changed forever.
He said a statement from Boggs' mother powerfully captured the family's grief and the ongoing psychological impact of his death.
Judge Doyle said there was no equivalence between the sentence he imposed and the life of Boggs, and the impact of his death on those who loved him.
"(The sentence) is not a measure of the worth of his life," he said.
"No sentence I impose can restore him to his family and his friends, or undo the tragic events of June 2022."
The judge said he accepted Doughty was genuinely remorseful for his offending which he would now have on his conscience for the rest of his life.
He said the man had no psychological issues prior to the crash and now experienced significant distress and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety.
The judge said Doughty was also injured in the crash, suffering a fractured rib, internal bleeding and soft tissue injuries.
He said Doughty had his spleen removed and now required antibiotics and a vaccination regime due to a diminished immune response.
In sentencing, the judge said general deterrence was the most important factor and the message must be that "the community will not tolerate innocent people being killed by those who drink and then drive".
"It's imperative that the message of deterrence is set out, particularly to your demographic of young men so often involved in offending of this type," he said.
The judge said he must also not lose sight of Doughty's rehabilitation.
He said character references spoke of Doughty as a kind, respectful, hard-working and friendly young man and he found his prospects of rehabilitation optimistic given his strong family support back in Ireland.
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