George Henry Charles Windsor has been sentenced for driving without due care and attention.
George Henry Charles Windsor has been sentenced for driving without due care and attention. Jonathan Reichard

Court shock: $2000 for a man's life

"I'D give my right arm for the gentleman to be here today. I'm very sorry."

These were the words from 78-year-old George Henry Charles Windsor of Erakala, speaking to the Mercury after he was sentenced over a collision that left motorbike rider Bryan Baker dead.

Windsor was fined $2000 and banned from driving for six months by Magistrate Damien Dwyer. A conviction was not recorded.

Windsor pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention earlier this week. He had been making a U-turn on Maraju-Yakapari Rd late in the afternoon on Sunday, May 14, when he and motorcyclist Bryan Baker, 62, collided.

The sentence, handed down in Mackay Magistrates Court yesterday, prompted Mr Baker's daughter, Kate Hardwick, to call for a change in the law. She said the outcome of the proceedings was never going to bring the family any sense of closure.

"It doesn't change the events of that day and it doesn't bring Dad back," Mrs Hardwick said.


Bryan Baker had a passion for Ducati and his family.
Bryan Baker. Facebook

"Our grief is compounded by the very fact that this fatal incident was considered under exactly the same charge as that of a distracted driver who runs off the road and rolls their own car or a driver who sideswipes a parked car while changing the radio station. It is ludicrous, a man has died.

"We understand that the police, prosecutor and magistrate have done what they can under the current boundaries of Queensland's legislation, what we are asking for, is the boundaries to change."

"When a dangerous driving charge results in a person's death it is considered an aggravated offence - a more serious charge and potential penalty, for a more serious situation.


Jess Baker, Jim Baker and Kate Hardwick want legislation changed to toughen the sentences on people who drive without due attention that result in fatalities after their father Byran, (second from the right) died in that situation.
IN MOURNING: (From left) Kate Hardwick, Jim Baker, Bryan Baker and Jess Baker in Thailand. Baker family

"In Queensland 'Due care and attention' does not carry these circumstances of aggravation, as it does in other parts of Australia. We are appalled by this.

"We will be doing all we can to change this, including lobbying our local member Jim Pearce," Mrs Hardwick said.

The subject appears to be a grey area of law. The report entitled "When does driving without dure care and attention become dangerous?" in Hearsay, the journal of the Bar Association of Queensland, states: "There is very little authority to assist in divining where the divide between dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving without due care and attention lies."

Mr Windsor was contacted for comment following his sentence, and said he was sorry it happened.

"I'd like to apologise to the family for the grief I've caused them and I'd like to say that I'm sorry that it ever happened, it was a lapse in concentration," Mr Windsor said.

"I'd give my right arm for the gentleman to be here today. I'm very sorry."

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said there were no winners in this case.

"I have the greatest sympathy for both families, but particularly for the family of the deceased man," Mr Dwyer said.

"This is a tragedy and I accept that the family have been terribly affected."