A dairy farmer whose dangerous driving killed his daughter and seriously injured his wife has walked free from a Victorian court after being ordered to pay $1000 to his favourite charity.
Stanley Barry Ellett, 75, pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing death and one count of causing serious injury after he drove through a stop sign on a regional road near Warragul following "momentary inattention" in November 2015.
His car was T-boned by another car, and his daughter Emily was killed.
His wife Pamela was seriously injured.
Ellett faced the Victorian County Court to be sentenced on Wednesday, where a judge ruled extraordinary circumstances applied to the "outstanding" father and community member who had an "umblemished" record.
The Crown accepted Ellett did not see the stop sign or the preceding sign on the day of the crash and did not ask for him to be jailed.
"Your failure to see the sign was the result of momentary inattention," Judge Philip Misso said, adding it was hard to imagine a harsher punishment for a parent then the loss of a child.
"Your moral culpability is at the lowest end," Judge Misso said.
"You are undoubtedly an outstanding husband, father and friend."
Eleven character references were tendered, including statements from Ellett's daughters who described him in admirable and loving terms.
A friend who tendered a statement said, "I can unreservedly say Australia would be a better place if it had more Barry Elletts."
Judge Misso adjourned the matter after convicting Ellett and disqualifying him from holding a licence for 18 months.