Anger at death crash driver sentence

Catherine and Michelle Roberts.
Anger at death crash driver sentence
Catherine and Michelle Roberts.

Michael Craig Burvill drove drunk 20km over the speed limit on Karrinyup Road before colliding head-on with Mr Roberts’ car, killing the Hamersley grandfather.

At the time of the crash, Mr Roberts had four passengers, including his wife Christina Roberts, who all received serious injuries.

A packed District Court heard last week that the 20-year-old provisional driver left a party on January 4 about 10.20pm in his Holden Commodore after drinking about 12 beers.

Burvill drove intoxicated on to the wrong side of the road at 80km/h in a 60km/h zone at the time of the crash.

State prosecutor Barry Murray stated in a recorded interview with police at the Warwick station after the crash that Burvill said he knew he was drunk and should not have driven.

Mr Murray said Mr Burvill had lost his licence before and been charged for reckless driving in 2010 for driving 129km/h in a 60km/h zone in Geraldton.

Mr Roberts’ daughters, Catherine and Michelle Roberts, presented the court with a victim impact statement, bringing the gallery to tears.

Michelle said life now felt like a chore to get through.

“We are shells of our former selves,” she said. “The death of our dad has ruined our lives. Our dad got the death sentence and our whole family got a life sentence.”

Looking directly at Burvill, Michelle said: “We will never forgive you for that”.

Burvill was charged with dangerous driving causing death, two counts of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, three counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and driving with a blood alcohol content in excess 0.08 per cent.

He will be eligible for parole after two and a half years.

Burvill was also disqualified from driving for four years after serving his jail sentence.

Outside court, Catherine said four and a half years for the life of their 56-year-old dad was nothing.

“We know nothing will ever bring him back and no sentencing will ever be enough,” she said.

“Something really needs to change in the sense of drink driving awareness because whatever is in place now isn’t working.”