Lenient jail for fatal crash
THE family of a young Tweed Heads woman who died in a car crash are devastated the driver responsible will only serve 18 months behind bars.
Elly Strotton, 20, died when a car being driven by childhood friend Christopher Wayne Haylock, 21, of Burleigh Heads, hit a tree at Reedy Creek in April last year.
Her family yesterday hit out at the “lenient” sentence handed down to Haylock, who pleaded guilty to all charges.
Elly's father, John Strotton, said the legal system had failed his daughter.
“This kid (Haylock) is 21 and before he's 23 he will be back out enjoying life,” Mr Strotton said.
“He has taken my daughter's life and within two years he will be back out living.
“I was just shocked to hear it was 18 months.”
Haylock pleaded guilty in Southport District Court on Thursday to charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death while adversely affected by intoxication substances and driving under the influence of liquor.
He was sentenced to five years jail suspended after 18 months.
He was also disqualified from driving for three and a half years.
Mr Strotton said he believed a minimum of two years in prison was necessary.
“I'm more disappointed now than angry,” he said.
Elly's mother, Trish Strotton, said she thought the judge took Haylock's age into account when handing down his decision.
“His sentence was very lenient. I didn't care what he got, but I didn't like that,” Mrs Strotton said.
“I think the judge took his age too much into account. It trivialised Elly's life.
Mrs Strotton said she was also disappointed in a lack of apology from Haylock.
“Not once have I heard the words 'sorry' from Christopher or his family. Not even a card.”
“There is nothing left for us to do now.”
Elly grew up in Bilambil Heights and Tweed Heads.
She attended St Augustine's Catholic Primary School and Palm Beach-Currumbin High School.