Dad's haunting final text to son before horrific beach crash

Friends and supporters of an 18-year-old killed in a car crash have gasped in court when hearing the man responsible will be released within nine months.

Lynden Joshua Roby, 20, faced Brisbane District Court on Monday for sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. Roby was behind the wheel of his dual cab HiLux utility when it rolled on Bribie Island's Woorim Beach soon after 3:50pm on May 30 last year, killing passenger Harrison 'Harry' Payne.

Harrison Payne smiles in a close up photo.
Harrison Payne's father has revealed the final text he sent his son on the day that he was killed. Source: 9News

Multiple witnesses had earlier seen Roby driving at speeds estimated up to 90 kilometres per hour on the beach with a 50 km/h limit. Roby was also seen racing other vehicles, fishtailing, doing doughnuts, 'power slides' and burnouts on the Sunday afternoon, which saw large numbers of people at the beach. He nearly collided with another vehicle and then attempted another fishtail, this time catching his rear tyres in the sand and rolling his utility.

Harry was partially ejected from the vehicle when it rolled, resulting in "catastrophic" head injuries before he was flung 10 metres from the vehicle and killed instantly.

Heartbroken dad reveals final text to son

Dozens of Harry's family, friends and workmates attended the court to hear the sentence, requiring many to watch from a second courtroom via videolink. Harry's parents, two siblings and their partners read victim impact statements to the court, saying his future life milestones had been taken away and theirs would be forever "tainted" by his absence.

Harry's father Kent Payne said Roby's offence was "a disgrace, unacceptable, dangerous and entirely avoidable" and accused him of having no remorse.

An aerial view of 4WDs on Woorim Beach in Bribie Island
The friends were driving along the busy Woorim Beach at the time of the crash. Source: Google Maps

"Our hearts are broken and we will never recover from Harry being taken from us. It is a life sentence," Mr Payne said. "I will never forgive you for your behaviour."

He revealed the last text he sent to his son that afternoon, which read: "Be safe mate. I love you."

Harry's mother Kylie spoke of having to identify her son's body at the morgue and wanting to hold his hand and keep him warm. "The sentence will not bring Harry back but it is hoped that it will keep others from doing the same in the future," she said.

Driver caught doing burnouts since fatal crash

Crown prosecutor Philip McCarthy asked for a four-year sentence, given Roby's apparent lack of remorse shown by committing traffic offences following the deadly crash, including burnouts at a construction site.

"He has not demonstrated any particular insight into the gravity of the offending ... the psychiatrist found he is a continued risk to community whilst driving," Mr McCarthy said.

Roby's barrister Patrick Wilson said there were also factors in his client's favour including him being just 18 and not intoxicated at the time.

"He is remorseful, he has acknowledged the ripple of grief caused solely by his own actions. I appreciate that family might not wish to accept apology but he offers one," Mr Wilson said.

Kylie and Kent Payne, parents of victim Harrison Payne, are seen with supporters outside the Brisbane District Court on Monday.
Kylie and Kent Payne, parents of victim Harrison Payne, are seen with supporters outside the Brisbane District Court on Monday. Source: AAP

Judge John Allen sentenced Roby to three years in prison suspended after nine months with a three-year disqualification from holding a licence.

"You said in your letter ... 'I will honour Harry's legacy every day that I am privileged to experience'. I hope that's a genuine statement about the future; it certainly hasn't been evidenced by your conduct since the time of the offence," Judge Allen said.

Outside court, Kent Payne said his family respected the court system and its outcome.

"No jail time was ever going to bring Harry back. We want to thank all the legal people who supported us and the police and everybody who helped Harry on the day of this crash," Mr Payne said.

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