Family begs for justice after brutal hit and run

A FAMILY's plea to appeal the "soft sentence" given to the drugged-up driver who mowed down their teenage son appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Robert Thomas Summerville walked from court last week with a $500 fine and one-month driving disqualification after he crashed into the boy at Burleigh Waters on June 6, 2019.

A Southport Magistrates Court was told last week that Summerville was high, driving disqualified and fled the scene after the crash.

But the Queensland Police Service yesterday effectively ruled out appealing the sentence, despite pressure from a Gold Coast MP, Opposition and the devastated family.

"A review of the matter and consideration of the evidence before the court has determined the sentence was within range," a spokeswoman said.

On Wednesday last week, Summerville pleaded guilty to drug driving, driving an unregistered vehicle and failing to comply with duties of a driver involved in a crash.

The parents of the boy, who now suffers from a permanent brain injury, last week labelled the penalty a "kick in the guts" and were again left disappointed yesterday.

Robert Thomas Summerville leaves Southport Magistrates Court.
Robert Thomas Summerville leaves Southport Magistrates Court.

The boy's father asked "what sort of precedence" was the "slap on the wrist" sentence setting.

"We believe there is sufficient evidence and grounds to appeal this decision, and so do the politicians. Everyone's in disbelief that you can get more for a mobile phone charge - a $1000 fine and four points - then you can get for hitting someone driving under the influence.

"There's no balance in the system, either the laws's got to change or something has to happen."

The parents of the teenager have written to government members, including Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in the wake of the sentence.

Bonney MP Sam O'Connor was shocked yesterday at the police response.

LNP Member for Bonney Sam O'Connor. Picture: Steve Holland
LNP Member for Bonney Sam O'Connor. Picture: Steve Holland

"It's just extraordinary, it (the sentence) does not meet community expectation at all," he said.

He's hopeful the Queensland Police Service would reconsider.

Mr O'Connor called for an appeal to fix the injustice in parliament on Thursday night.

"The family and my community are angry. Their hearts are broken by this soft sentence. I call on the Queensland Police Service to initiate an appeal," he said. "All the (family) wants is for the punishment to fit the crime. They deserve justice for everything their son has lost."


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