The West

Driver in fatal crash released pending appeal
Victim Stephen Liddiard. Picture:

A young man jailed over a fatal crash tragedy in which he failed to notice a red light has been released on bail pending an appeal.

Caillan Timbrell, 22, was sentenced to 12 months behind bars on February 8 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death and occasioning grievous bodily harm after he failed to stop at a red light and ploughed to another car in July last year.

The driver, 24-year-old Stephen Liddiard, was killed in the crash while Mr Liddiard's sister suffered life-threatening injuries.

In sentencing Timbrell this month, District Court Judge Troy Sweeney noted he had no record, had no alcohol in his system and had not been speeding.

It appeared only a moment of inattention or lack of judgment was to blame, she said, but the seriousness of the consequences and need for a message to the community preventing such tragedies meant Timbrell should be jailed.

Today, a Supreme Court judge found that Timbrell should be granted bail while he appeals the sentence.

Lawyer Simon Watters, representing Timbrell, told the court his client was appealing the sentence on the grounds that it was manifestly excessive because the judge should have suspended the jail term after considering all the factors.

Justice Robert Mazza also noted there was a risk that, given Timbrell could apply for parole after serving six months, an appeal outcome would only occur once he had already served much of his sentence.

The State opposed bail, submitting Judge Sweeney had been thorough in her decision and that the tragic consequences of the offence had outweighed Timbrell's low culpability.

Justice Mazza found Timbrell should be granted bail pending the appeal but stressed that his decision should not be seen as indicative of whether the appeal would succeed or not.

The West Australian

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