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The High Court on Friday refused special leave to hear Samuel William Davidson’s appeal that he was given an unjust prison sentence due to the incorrect use of sentencing principles.
The professional lorry driver crashed into them after his ute ran up a curb in Oatlands, Sydney’s north-west on February 1, 2020.
Stephen Odgers SC, representing Davidson, said Davidson was already of good character, with the offense leading to his first detention.
This meant that he had a good chance of being rehabilitated.
He said the way parole and non- parole periods were determined based on sentence length meant those with a better chance of rehabilitation were worse off.
“It is very strange that a person with good prospects is worse off than a person with bad prospects,” the lawyer told the court.
“But in New South Wales, good prospects for rehabilitation hurt you.”
Odgers added that if the case were to be heard, the defense would raise the issue of Davidson’s ADHD, but admitted that was not a reason the appeal should be granted.
He was originally jailed in April 2021 for 28 years with a 21-year free parole period.
Davidson had pleaded guilty to four counts of manslaughter and charges related to the injuries to three other children in the crash.
Crown prosecutor Helen Robertson SC said the differences between the two sentences “did not demonstrate fundamentally different principles” nor did they pose a problem for the law applied in New South Wales.
“There is no correct phrase,” she said.
“It’s at the discretion of the sentencing judge.”
Robertson pointed out that most sentences were reduced in lower courts due to special circumstances, but acknowledged that Odgers was referring to long sentences.
In her reasoning for the denial, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said the appeal was likely to be unsuccessful.
Drugged-driver who killed four kids on Sydney footpath fails in final bid to slash sentence
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