Man who killed friend in fatal boat crash escapes jail again

Darren Wayne Edwards and his daughter leave Maroochydore Court
Darren Wayne Edwards and his daughter leave Maroochydore Court

A MAN who killed his family friend in a drunken boat crash has appeared back before court for breaching his suspended sentence.

Darren Wayne Edwards was charged in 2011 after the boat he was driving smashed into a bridge pylon at the Petrie Creek Bridge, near Bli Bli at about 10pm on November 19.

Passenger Jamie Richardson, 40, died at the scene and his father Arthur Richardson, who was 67 at the time, reportedly suffered a fractured skull, cheekbone and chest injuries.

It was revealed Edwards had alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash and he was sentenced in Maroochydore District Court for dangerous operation of a boat causing death and grievous bodily harm while adversely intoxicated in March 2013.

Judge Gary Long gave Edwards a five-year prison term, suspended after 20 months for five years meaning any offence committed where jail was a possibility during that time could cause the sentence to be activated.

In July this year, when police searched Edwards' home they found fireworks and less than 1g of marijuana in a storage cube.

Police noted the drugs were a "small quantity of twig, leaf and seeds... poor quality and had been there for some time".

He also failed to provide his ID to police within seven days of the offence, leading to a contravention of police direction charge.

These charges were dealt with in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court by way of a fine.

Today in Maroochydore District Court Judge Leanne Clare contended the offences were a breach of Edwards' suspended sentence, but said they were "no comparison" to the "reckless behaviour" which caused the fatal boat crash.

Judge Clare acknowledged there had been a breach, but said she believed Edwards wasn't at risk of re-offending and ordered no further action be taken against him.

Edwards and his daughter left the court house with their faces covered in paper and jumped in a waiting car.

Topics:  court crime death editors picks fatal crash maroochydore district court police

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