TRAGEDY: The scene of the fatal crash at Henty Dr, Redbank Plains in August 2012.
TRAGEDY: The scene of the fatal crash at Henty Dr, Redbank Plains in August 2012. David Nielsen

Drugged driver who killed seven-year-old appeals sentence

A DRIVER who killed the seven-year-old daughter of his housemate when he was high on meth believes his sentence is too harsh.

Joshua Adam Thomas, 28, was sentenced to nine years jail, to be eligible for parole after three years, in the Ipswich District Court in May for dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm.

Thomas has taken the sentence to the Queensland Court of Appeal claiming the sentence was too long.

Thomas was high on meth after smoking the drug throughout the day when he drove to pick up children, including his housemate's daughter, from school in Redbank Plains.

He fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the car into a tree. The girl was killed, and another suffered serious injuries to her spine.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis said Thomas' sentence was more severe than those given to some people convicted of manslaughter.

Mr Lewis described Thomas' actions as "terrible conduct" but said he had not been charged with the more serious offence of manslaughter.

"It's the applicant's contention that if the Crown wished to obtain sentences that would be appropriate for the offence of manslaughter, they should charge manslaughter," he said.

"The head sentence of nine years is, in my submission, outside the norm for offences of this nature.

"The dangerousness of the applicant's conduct here rests essential on the fact he was so intoxicated, or had been so intoxicated not long before, on methylamphetamine.

However, Crown prosecutor Ben Power said Thomas knew how intoxicated he was, with a friend having asked him it would be safe to drive about half an hour before picking up the children, soon after he smoked the drug.

Mr Power described Thomas has having taken a "selfish risk with the lives of small children by consuming methylamphetamine knowing he'd have to drive".

The court has reserved decision.

- APN NEWSDESK



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