On 23 January 2013, Richard Lawson, from Lawson Legal, appeared before Justice Hall in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, in relation to a manslaughter charge.

In the matter of The State of Western Australia v Norris [2013] WASCSR 13, the accused pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter, one count of no authority to drive and one count of failing to provide assistance after a traffic incident.

On the night of the office, Mr Norris was travelling with a passenger, Luke Bevan, southeast on Corfield Street.  Mr Norris accelerated to a speed of 150km/hr to evade a police vehicle, which had activated its emergency lights, in attempt to pull Mr Norris’s vehicle over.  Mr Norris turned onto Fremantle Road, heading west, narrowly missing a collision with another vehicle.  At this point, Mr Norris lost control of his car, and began a four-wheel slide, impacting with several trees on the verge.  The vehicle collided with such force that it fragmented, and Mr Bevan was ejected from the car, incurring severe head injuries, and subsequently died.  Police arrived on the scene at which time Mr Norris fled without checking on the welfare of Mr Bevan.  A blood test taken from Mr Norris confirmed that he was under the influence of methyl amphetamine at the time the driving occurred.

Mr Norris had been suffering from a significant drug problem for the past six years.  A toxicologist report by Professor Joyce concluded that the quantity of methylamphetamine that Mr Norris had ingested, prior to driving, rendered him incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely.

Mitigating factors, submitted by Richard Lawson, include Mr Norris’s early pleas of guilty, self-referral for drug counselling and remorse for his offending behaviour.

Justice Hall stated that no sentence, but one of immediate imprisonment, was appropriate, as the serious nature of the offence does not allow for a disposition of a suspended sentence.

Mr Norris was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of four years with eligibility for parole and disqualified from driving for seven years.

Should you, or anyone you know, need any help in relation to manslaughter offences, or any other criminal matters, contact Lawson Legal for your free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal lawyers.