Killer Victorian driver wins jail cut

A fatigued driver who hit a cyclist and left the Melbourne man for dead has won a cut to her jail term.

Stephanie Maher, 35, hit father-of-two Julian Paul on a stretch of the Nepean Highway in 2013, as he cycled home from work.

The 54-year-old's neck and back were broken and he died about three weeks later, when his life support was turned off.

Maher was seen drifting on the Nepean Highway and, after a number of near misses, her car hit Mr Paul.

She then hid her car in a railway station car park.

The nurse, who has a history of drug addiction, refused a blood test after the crash.

Maher was jailed in 2016 for 11 years with a minimum eight-and-a-half years after a County Court jury found her guilty of culpable driving causing death, and failing to stop and render assistance.

However, on Thursday, the Court of Appeal reduced her jail term to nine-and-a-half years with a minimum seven years.

The appeal judges found the sentencing judge erred when he found Maher "likely" to reoffend.

Maher had earlier convictions for stealing drugs to feed her heroin habit while working as a nurse at Melbourne hospitals.

However, the appeal judges said it was "difficult" to see how the sentencing judge came to conclude she was likely to continue offending, given her efforts to rehabilitate.

Maher's appeal against conviction was dismissed.

Back To Top
feedback