An Australian woman who boasted about leaving an Asian cyclist to die on a rural highway following a road rage incident in 2012 has been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.
The sentencing: Joanne Marie McAuley, 49, pleaded guilty at the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday to one charge of manslaughter for the death of Hong Kong national Chan Shui Ki, 26, according to The Guardian.
“Because of sheer rage and nothing else, you caused the death of a 26-year-old male who was simply riding a bicycle home from work,” Honorable Justice David Boddice said during the Monday sentencing. “You deliberately drove your vehicle, which you were incapable of controlling, so close to the deceased that it was inherently likely that he would be struck.”
Boddice said McAuley’s behavior on the night of the murder showed a “complete disregard for human life,” adding that she also showed a “complete lack of remorse” following the incident.
He sentenced the unlicensed driver to 10 years of imprisonment. She will be eligible for parole in 2026.
What happened: McAuley reportedly became enraged after Chan, who was on his way home from work at a nearby McDonald’s, flipped her off on the Warrego Highway at around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23, 2012.
McAuley deliberately hunted Chan down by taking two separate highway exits.
She said she only wanted to “scare” him but ended up crashing into him instead after losing control of her car. Chan was catapulted to a nearby grassy area.McAuley immediately fled, leaving him with a fractured pelvis on the side of the road, where he was found dead by a passerby the following morning. A Coroners Court report indicated that Chan succumbed to hypothermia after being left outside on a winter night.
McAuley was charged with one count of murder in July 2018, six months after the fatal incident, Brisbane Times reported.
In a statement, Crown Prosecutor Clayton Wallis described the investigation into the case as “less fulsome,” while the case’s coroner said it was “inadequate.”
“Complete lack of remorse”: McAuley allegedly boasted to several people, including friends and family members, about what happened that night a decade ago on Warrego Highway. She also made racial slurs about Chan and said that she had run him over because he was Asian, Wallis alleged.
According to Wallis, McAuley bragged of having reversed “more than once” over Chan’s body. She also allegedly confessed her crime to her boyfriend, Robert William “Billy” Allen, and subsequently blamed him for the incident, The Courier-Mail reported.
“Jo said, ‘I done it, it was me. If you weren’t off screwing [someone] else, it wouldn’t have happened. It was your fault’,” Allen said in his statement to the police, which was read during a 2016 inquest. “Jo was blaming me because just before (the incident) happened, she had been on the phone to me and I had told her that I wasn’t coming back.”
“She told me several times,” Allen told the court. “I sort of believed it... But she did have me convinced at several stages that she did do it. But she also had me convinced she didn’t do it.”
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