A Perth court has been told an unlicensed driver who killed two innocent motorists when he went through a red light at more than 40 kilometres over the speed limit later recorded a blood alcohol level that was four times over the legal limit.
Shane Bradley Pearce, 50, pleaded guilty in the WA Supreme Court to unlawfully killing Lauren Prothero and her friend Paige Ward, both 27, who suffered catastrophic injuries when he slammed into their car at an intersection in Cooloongup on the evening of May 29 last year.
State prosecutor Robert Owen said the passenger in Pearce’s four-wheel drive had tried to warn him as he approached the intersection, twice yelling “Shane, red light” but he failed to slow down.
Mr Owen said the speed Pearce was calculated to be travelling at was 123 kilometres an hour — more than 40 kilometres an hour above the speed limit.
He later recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.21 per cent.
Pearce left victims in wreckage
Justice Bruno Fiannaca noted that witnesses described Pearce as acting in “a drunken way” after the crash and being aggressive to witnesses and police when they arrived at the scene.
“His behaviour afterwards did him no credit,” Justice Fiannaca said.
The court heard Pearce also did not try to help the victims and was arrested in the car park of a nearby fast food outlet.
Pearce’s lawyer, Paul Holmes, said his client was genuinely remorseful for what he had done and had pleaded guilty at a very early stage, saying to him “I know I f….ed up really badly”.
He said Mr Pearce also told him “I don’t want to drag it out any longer for the victims”.
Crash followed day of drinking
Mr Holmes said his client had spent the day drinking after being “rained off” at the building site where he was working as a scaffolder.
“He accepts there were many occasions throughout the day when he could have stopped drinking or called a taxi,” he said.
He said his client also used the word “cowardly” to describe his own behaviour after the deadly collision.
Mr Holmes told the court Pearce did not resile from the impact his actions had on the family and friends of his two victims, saying the sudden death of his own brother from cancer only a few months earlier made him understand the loss they were suffering.
He had also been unemployed for a lengthy time and the job he was meant to have been doing on the day of the crash was his first in about a year and half.
In his submissions Mr Owen said Pearce’s offences were at the highest scale of seriousness.
He said Pearce had been drinking for about 10 hours before the crash and in that time had driven to various locations.
Pearce ‘driving like an idiot’
Mr Owen told the court that after the crash, witnesses reported seeing Pearce driving “like a bit of an idiot”, including weaving in and out of traffic and hitting kerbs.
“He must have known he was in an unfit state to be driving,” he said.
Mr Owen also said immediately after the crash, Pearce did not offer any assistance to the victims or even ask about their welfare.
“His immediate thought was self-preservation and there was not one thought of the people he hit,” he said.
Mr Owen submitted the women, who were turning right in a green arrow, had no time to take evasive action to try to avoid the collision.
“This could occur to anyone of us on any given Sunday,” he said.
Mr Holmes said Pearce had a record of drink-driving offences, and at the time of the crash his licence was disqualified for an offence the year before.
But he submitted the crash was a “watershed moment” for his client, who had told him: “I will never touch a drop of the s**t again.”
Peace has been in custody since his arrest on the night of the crash.
Source: Thanks msn.com