News

Truck driver jailed for six years

A TRUCK driver was wiping tears from his eyes and sobbing as he was sentenced to six years in jail for running over his brother's fiance and killing her.

Damien Lee Turnbull, 32, was drunk when he drove his prime mover over Deborah Leahy after a belated Australia Day party in Burpengary on January 29 last year.

He had left the party abruptly after an evening of drinking with Ms Leahy and another friend in close pursuit to stop him from driving.

A jury found him guilty on Monday of dangerous driving causing her death while drunk after a trial in Brisbane District Court.

Today, he learned during a three-hour sentence he must serve two years and eight months of the jail term before he becomes eligible to apply for parole.

His parents, wife and one of his six children were in the public gallery as he was led away asking "not even a kiss?".

Judge Douglas McGill said he took into account Turnbull's distress upon learning the "tragic consequences that followed from the behaviour".

"I am satisfied you were well aware of their presence, that you knew they were trying to dissuade you from driving," he said.

"Your attitude was that you were driving off regardless of their attempts to stop you.

"You were not keeping a sufficient lookout ... to ensure their safety.

"I think there's elements of recklessness involved."

Mr Turnbull is also disqualified from driving for two years and eight months.

Crown prosecutor Sam Bain had told the court Turnbull, who lives in Orange, had a previous conviction for driving under the influence of drugs.

He said Turnbull had taken speed 12 hours before he rolled his truck on the Newell Highway at 3am after falling asleep at the wheel.

The court heard Turnbull had a 0.118% BAC about 3.5 hours after the Burpengary incident and would have been at least 0.135% on countback.

Mr Bain argued at sentence Turnbull should have been aware or, at least, keeping a proper eye on where Ms Leahy and another friend, who were trying to stop him driving, were.

He said he should have been even more careful behind the wheel of a truck which was likely to do more damage than a small vehicle.

Defence barrister Tanya Williams said while her client was intoxicated, he was not speeding and not driving erratically.

"Ms Leahy and Mr Turnbull were close friends and described as being like brother and sister," she said. 

Topics:  burpengary court truck driver


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Daylight saving: 'Draw a line from Goondiwindi to Rocky'

Sunset in maryborough, Queensland. - User Contributed

Just draw a line from Goondiwindi to Rockhampton

School year begins with new technology for parking inspectors

PARKING TECHNOLOGY: The 'Parksafe' car will be fitted with technology that will allow council rangers to check up to 4,000 vehicles per day compared with 400 foot patrols.

The new council car will extend its patrol to school zones on Monday

Local Partners

Row over canoe storage causing riptide between VMR and Bribie Yacht Club

A metaphorical rip tide is churning between two community groups, thanks to a spat that could see one of the groups without a place to cast their anchor.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Start the new year with a bang at Woodford

CLOSING CEREMONY: The Fire Event is Woodford Folk Festival's biggest ceremony.

Farewell 2016 with fire at Woodford Folk Festival

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!