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Jail sentence for Waterloo man

Kate Fielding and Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
Gelmi’s driver’s licence would be suspended for three years and he would be eligible for parole after three years and three months.
Camera IconGelmi’s driver’s licence would be suspended for three years and he would be eligible for parole after three years and three months. Credit: iStockphoto

A Waterloo man found guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death has been sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment in Bunbury’s Supreme Court today.

Two weeks ago a jury found Paul Ramon Gelmi, 47, guilty of causing the death of 10-year-old Bunbury Haylee Michelle Ross after he crashed his motorcycle while intoxicated with Haylee as a pillion passenger in October 2016.

Addressing Gelmi with his sentencing Supreme Court Justice Lindy Jenkins said the maximum penalty for dangerous driving occasioning death was 20 years imprisonment.

“I recognise that you don’t have a history of alcohol or drug abuse and you also have no prior record,” she said.

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“Your offence is very serious because you knew you had too much to drink before you chose to drive on Clifton Road.

“I am persuaded that your feelings of remorse are genuine, but the facts remain that you were intoxicated, your motorcycle was not registered and you did not have a licence.”

Justice Jenkins said she had taken into consideration several victim impact statements from Haylee’s family as well as character references for Gelmi.

“Several people have come forward to account for your good character but I also have to take into account the impact on the family of the deceased,” she said.

“I do believe that this behaviour was out of character but that behaviour led to the death of a 10-year-old girl.”

Justice Jenkins said Gelmi’s driver’s licence would be suspended for three years and he would be eligible for parole after three years and three months.

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