The West

Dad s V8 mod blamed for tot s death
Michael Brian Newman. Supplied picture

The father whose three year-old son died after he lost control of his illegally modified V8 car has previously been convicted of driving without a licence six times, a court has heard.

Toddler Dre Newman died in May 2012 when his father Michael Brian Newman lost control of his the Holden Commodore on West Swan Road in Caversham.

Newman last month pleaded guilty on what was to have been the first day of his trial on charges of dangerous driving causing the death of his son.

He admitted that a $200 change to the car, which fitted a "mini-spool", along with his driving had caused the back wheels to lock and skid into a tree.

Dre, who was strapped in a booster seat in the rear, suffered fatal head injuries in the impact.

At a sentencing hearing at Perth's District Court today, prosecutor Adam Hills-Wright said Newman had an extensive history of driving offences, including a reckless driving conviction, six driving without a licence offences and a further five offences of failing to provide details to the police.

The court was also told that after the death of his son, Newman became addicted to methylamphetamine, which in turn led to further police charges, and some time on remand in jail.

Defence lawyers asked Judge Henry Wisbey to consider a suspended jail term.

Justice Wisbey said Newman's main culpability came in having the spool - which is associated with Motorsport vehicles - fitted to the car.

"He did not give proper thought to the consequences," Judge Wisbey said

Newman will be told his sentence tomorrow.

The crash scene in Caversham in May 2012. File picture: The West Australian
The West Australian

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