After spending the weekend at a music festival, an exhausted and drug-affected Jordan Brown got behind the wheel of a car and drove three young friends to their deaths.
Ben Sawyer, 19, Luke Shanahan, 21, and Lachlan Burleigh, 17, died after the P-plater lost control of his Mitsubishi Outlander at Bilpin, in the Blue Mountains, as he drove them home to Sydney's northern beaches.
Another driver, 84-year-old Barbara McLaren, suffered a stroke the month after Brown hit the rear of her vehicle, and remains bedridden in a nursing home.
On Friday, NSW District Court Judge Jeffery McLennan sentenced Brown, now 21, to at least four-and-a-half years in prison over the crash.
He had pleaded guilty to three counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and one count of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
The mothers of Ben and Luke said the sentence was unacceptable and they would encourage the Department of Public Prosecutions to appeal.
"That's one year and one month per child," Georgina Sawyer said outside court.
"Three boys under 21 are dead, and I got 1.1 years for my 19-year-old son's death."
The court heard Brown and his friends had spent the weekend at Psyfari, a music festival north of Lithgow, before they left for home on the Sunday morning.
Judge McLennan said Brown gave evidence he'd taken the drug ecstasy two days earlier, but a pharmacologist's report suggested he'd taken a dose that morning.
"This is yet another tragic case of an otherwise fine young man failing to act responsibly by consuming drugs at a dance festival and driving under the influence," he said.
Brown's legal team submitted that his moral culpability was low because he didn't speed, had not taken alcohol, did not drive aggressively and attempted to avoid fatigue by breaking during the journey.
But Judge McLennan said Brown drove about 200km while "substantially sleep deprived" and in withdrawal from drugs, with passengers in the car and nearby motorists at risk.
He considered Brown's young age, low chance of recidivism and otherwise impeccable character in deciding his sentence, and said he believed the young man's remorse to be genuine.
"It is not to be forgotten that two of his closest friends were killed in the accident, as well as another young man he was friendly with," the judge said.
Brown was sentenced to a total of six years and six months in prison from April 10, 2017, and will be eligible for parole in October 2021.