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Sharon Mortlock goes down for 9 months of periodic detention

By johnboy - 20 June 2009 20

The Canberra Times brings word that the Sharon Mortlock case has reached a conclusion.

(For those who came in late, on August 22 last year the 41 year old Eden woman was having a long and complicated drunken argument as part of her long and complicated relationship with Luke Stefani which ended when his attempts to continue the argument from the bonnet of her car failed and he landed on the road head first, dying soon afterwards.)

Fleeing the scene and lying about the accident have done Ms Mortlock no good at all and Magistrate Maria Doogan has sentenced her to lose the use of her weekends with a 15 month sentence to be suspended after the first nine months of periodic detention.

Trekking up from Eden every weekend will be a monumental pain though.

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Sharon Mortlock goes down for 9 months of periodic detention
Granny 5:31 pm 22 Jun 09

Oh, I think most people would be fairly sure that driving ‘for 117m before braking suddenly’ after someone had ‘climbed on to the bonnet’ of their car would be just as likely to result in physical injury as a good punch to the face …if not more so.

Fists, car, crowbar – the weapon is hardly as relevant as the fractured skull.

monomania 4:56 pm 22 Jun 09

Granny said :

You could say the same for people who beat their wives – that they just have poor risk assessment skills.

This is not analogous to caf’s example because people who beat their partners do intend to hurt them and would have no doubt that this will be a result of their actions.

Granny 4:18 pm 22 Jun 09

You could say the same for people who beat their wives – that they just have poor risk assessment skills.

Or you could say that driving with a blood alcohol of .190 is a tragedy waiting to happen, and there is supposed to be a reason for having laws and penalties.

Hell, is there any reason for having laws and penalties?

I doubt any other families of the numerous other people she could have killed would have felt so satisfied with the verdict.

I wouldn’t if she’d killed someone I loved after getting behind the wheel at pretty much four times the legal limit, let alone having ‘fled the scene but later called for an ambulance’.

Nice.

caf 3:59 pm 22 Jun 09

Granny, there isn’t just one kind of “getting behind the wheel and killing someone”. There’s a range, from “negligent driving causing death” (what Mortlock was found guilty of, with a maximum penalty of 2 years) through “manslaughter” up to “murder” – it all depends on the exact circumstances.

I don’t think people avoid driving negligently because they’re afraid of the penalties if they kill someone – most people simply don’t want to be responsible for someone’s death. I’m sure that fear of jailtime isn’t the reason you drive carefully, is it? It’s not mine either. And most of those who do drive badly don’t do it because they’re OK with the possibility of killing someone behind the wheel – they just have poor risk assessment skills and don’t believe that they will kill someone. People with such attitudes aren’t deterred by the penalities for killing someone, because they don’t think it’ll happen.

Granny 2:05 pm 22 Jun 09

No, I just think why even bother with a weekend sentence for nine months? Why waste our money going through that expensive process for something like that? You may as well do nothing.

At least be honest enough to admit that nobody here really cares if you go out driving at nearly four times the legal limit and kill somebody. I don’t understand why we even bother to have laws against it.

It’s not like anyone’s going to go, ‘Ooh, I might get nine months of periodic detention if I get behind this wheel and kill someone. Heck, I’d better not do that. That would ruin my life.’

The whole thing is ridiculous. Either bring the laws into line with judicial expectations or community expectations. If the law thinks it’s ok then what can I do about it? Just don’t waste our good money on this pathetic sham.

caf 7:51 am 22 Jun 09

I’m trying to gently point out that if they, with a much greater emotional involvement as well as much greater knowledge of the facts of the case, can come to that conclusion, then a bit more introspection might be warranted.

But if you’d rather stay up there on your high horse, be my guest.

Granny 2:46 am 22 Jun 09

I’m glad they can live with it, caf. I find it appalling.

caf 12:31 am 22 Jun 09

Outside court yesterday, Mr Stefani’s sister, Tiffany, said the family would live by Ms Doogan’s decision.

”It is not going to change the events that occurred,” she said. ”We know that Luke loved Sharon. We believe that on that night both made bad decisions fuelled by alcohol, resulting in the terrible outcome of that evening.”

Granny, if the family can live with it, I reckon the rest of us should be able to, too.

Granny 11:31 pm 21 Jun 09

Gosh, human life is cheap these days.

debw 4:22 pm 21 Jun 09

my understanding is that Sharon is doing her weekend detention at Quamby not Symonston.

caf 1:51 pm 21 Jun 09

Well I guess the technology to make an entire building and staff vanish out of existence only during weekdays, reappearing each weekend, hasn’t quite been perfected yet.

Wraith 1:04 pm 21 Jun 09

“My understanding is that the Symonston facility is pretty much just for periodic detention”

If this is indeed the case, are we surprised?

This sounds like normal planning for the ACT Government and its army to me.

I have an idea, lets use the place for some interesting paint ball time during the week when its empty, if there are any prisoners then they can join in, as targets…….

ant 10:33 am 20 Jun 09

Interesting. So what happens to the facility during the week? Does it just fill up on weekends? And what do the staff do, are they all part time? Seems an odd use for a whole building.

johnboy 10:20 am 20 Jun 09

My understanding is that the Symonston facility is pretty much just for periodic detention.

ant 10:12 am 20 Jun 09

I was watching this on the news last night. And wondered, if someone is sentenced to this weekend detention thing, then presumably the cell they use becomes un-usable for anything or anyone else during the week? Maybe not a problem when the gaol isn’t full, but what about if it did fill up, what’s the situation then?

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