LNP appeals ‘inadequate’ penalty for grandmother’s killer

THE STATE Opposition are calling for the sentence handed down to Logan grandmother Beth Eden's killer to be appealed.

Ratan Singh Sandip, 25, in November pleaded guilty in the Beenleigh District Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mt Warren Park mother-of-three on November 27, 2018.

The 60-year-old was jogging on a footpath nearby her home when she was hit by Sandip's our of control car about 4.15am on the day she died.

On Tuesday, Sandip was sentenced to three years' jail but the sentence will be suspended after 10 months have been served behind bars.

 

Elizabeth Eden, died at Milne St in Beenleigh after a car left the road and hit her as she walked along the footpath. Ratan Singh Sandip, 25, sentenced to three years’ jail but the sentence will be suspended after 10 months have been served behind bars. Picture: Supplied
Elizabeth Eden, died at Milne St in Beenleigh after a car left the road and hit her as she walked along the footpath. Ratan Singh Sandip, 25, sentenced to three years’ jail but the sentence will be suspended after 10 months have been served behind bars. Picture: Supplied

Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki has slammed the suspended sentence handed down to the man who tried to flee to India following the accident, calling it manifestly inadequate.

"All too often we senselessly lose lives on our roads and this is another tragic example," he told The Courier-Mail.

"The law must deter appalling behaviour and this sentence must be appealed.

"Queensland road users must have confidence that the Labor government is acting to protect them".

After Sandip was charged over the death of Ms Eden, he was caught at the Brisbane International Airport trying to board a flight out of the country.

There was also evidence his father had asked him to return to the country because of his unstable mental health prior to the accident, the court heard.

Mr Janetzki on Friday wrote to Attorney-General Y'vette D'Ath calling on her to appeal the penalty, saying it was significantly lower than the maximum sentence available.

He also backed calls by Ms Eden's family for mandatory drug testing at the scene of road accidents, after it was earlier this week revealed Sandip was not assessed for drugs after the crash.

 

Beth and Jim Eden were known for holding hands together wherever they went.
Beth and Jim Eden were known for holding hands together wherever they went.

 

The Courier-Mail is not suggesting that Sandip was drug-driving.

"The Labor government has a responsibility to promote safe driver behaviour and to send a clear message to all road users that dangerous driving will not be tolerated on Queensland's roads," Mr Janetzki said.

During the hearing, the court heard there was no clear explanation as to why Sandip veered off the road and hit Ms Eden.

Airbag data from Sandip's car, which was taken after the crash showed he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Other evidence indicated he did not hit the breaks prior to the collision with the woman and a fence, the court heard.

He also told officers at the scene he was "stressed" and could possible have been looking away from the road to find his wallet.

The court found Sandip was inattentive for a prolonged period while driving but had not deliberately hit the woman.

He was not speeding or drunk but was not drug tested at the scene, the court heard.

Beth's daughter Rebekah Eden said, on behalf of the woman's family: "All pedestrians have the right to walk safely of the footpath".

"Sentencing in this case, and other similar cases, needs to reviewed as it is well short of society's expectations," she said.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath gave her "deepest sympathies" to the "family who have experienced the terrible loss of a loved one".

"The courts have to take a wide range of factors into account and consider the overall circumstances of each individual case," she said.

"This will not always lead to the result families want."


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