Appeal over jail term for boy's tree-felling death
A man jailed for the manslaughter of a seven-year-old boy in a tree-felling incident has appealed the length of his sentence, arguing not enough consideration was given to his efforts to get medical help.
Joshua George Hector Clark is serving four years and nine months behind bars following the August 2015 death of Akira Carroll in rural Tasmania.
Clark was collecting firewood with Akira, Akira's mother Sierra Lynd and her two other children when he lost control of the tree he was cutting with a chainsaw.
It fell across the ute in which Ms Lynd and her three children were sitting, striking Akira on the head.
He was rushed to hospital by helicopter and died the next day.
Clark, an experienced tree-cutter and firewood gatherer, was found guilty of manslaughter in September by a jury.
It was ruled he failed to follow his usual safe practice of cutting a wedge into the tree and cutting a "back cut" and had not parked his usual 100 metres away.
The ute was 22m from the base of the 32m tree.
He had parked the car in the middle of the road and told Ms Lynd and the children to stay in the car.
Clark's lawyer Kim Baumeler described the jail sentence, which has a non-parole period of about 28 months, as very heavy.
She told the Court of Criminal Appeal the sentencing judge did not give enough consideration to Clark's conduct immediately after cutting the tree, which included yelling "get out" to those in the ute.
Ms Baumeler said after the tree fell, Clark did "everything in his power" to assist and ensure medical attention arrived.
Ms Baumeler also said not enough consideration was given to the significant impact of delays in the case on the mental health of Clark, who has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lawyer for the Crown, Heather Denton, said the sentence, although perhaps at the higher end, was appropriate.
She said it was a serious example of manslaughter by culpable negligence and Clark had not complied with his own safety standards.
"(This was) more than a momentary lapse of judgment," Ms Denton said.
"He put not just the little boy who passed away in danger ... there were the other two children and their mother who were told to stay in the car."
A ruling on the appeal will be delivered at a later date.
In sentencing, Justice Stephen Estcourt noted the level of trauma Clark had suffered and that he was immediately remorseful.