“TRAGIC beyond words” was how lawyer Timothy Houweling described the Secret Harbour car crash that killed two teenagers and seriously injured another.
Mr Houweling made the comment during sentencing of Secret Harbour teenager Joel John Payne in Perth Magistrates Court yesterday.
Payne (19) was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.
On October 5 last year, Payne lost control of the car he was driving and it crashed into a tree.
Payne was speeding at 36km/h above the 50km/h speed limit in his high-powered Toyota Supra Coupe; there had been some light rain and it was dark.
He failed to negotiate a bend, hitting a kerb that sent the car careening off into a tree.
His good friend Mason Colin Hooton (17) was killed instantly along with another friend, Callum Mummery (16), who also died at the scene.
The other passenger, Shaun Howard Sparrow, received extensive critical injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life.
Payne received minor injuries including a haematoma to his forehead, abrasions to his face and knees, light swelling and pain to his elbow and wrist.
He said he has no memory of the crash.
Mr Houweling said no drugs or alcohol were involved.
“The statement of material facts is accepted by the defendant – the accused,” he said.
“Matters that bring Mr Payne before the court for the first time ever is a nightmare for himself as well as all of the families involved.
“It’s tragic beyond words.
“He’s taken responsibility and he is remorseful.”
Justice Simon Stone read victim impact statements to the court and also said Payne displayed genuine remorse.
“In my view, you’ve demonstrated genuine remorse by your plea of guilty and by wishing to engage and offering to engage in victim mediation,” he said.
“Your offending, Mr Payne, is very serious.
“The consequences are tragic. Two youths lost their lives. Another youth sustained life-endangering injuries that he will suffer for the rest of his life. Families have been left grieving for the rest of their lives.
“Clearly there’s a need for general deterrence. Drivers of powerful vehicles on the road must be taken to know that they can do enormous damage to life and limb if they drive irresponsibly in a manner dangerous to the public.”
As well has his three-and-a-half years prison sentence, Payne was disqualified from driving for three years.
He is eligible for parole.