Judge sends driver to jail for five months after crash

A DRUNK-DRIVER who crashed his ute causing catastrophic injuries to his best friend has been jailed for five months.

District Court Judge O’Connor said on Tuesday it gave him no pleasure to sentence a young man to jail, but the circumstances of the case and the need for general deterrence gave him no option.

Lachlan Hobby, 21, was charged with a string of driving offences after the crash which occurred just outside Bathurst in December last year.

Judge O’Connor read out the agreed facts of the case, detailing how Hobby and his mates had been at an 18th birthday celebration.

Three hours later they left the party and drove into Bathurst where Hobby consumed between five and six 375ml UDL’s at the Oxford Hotel.

At 4am the group left the Oxford to return to Blayney, with two of the group - including the victim Josh Farr - laying down in the tray.

An eye-witness who followed the ute from Bathurst told police the vehicle was swaying from side to side and crossing into the oncoming lane before Hobby lost control of the car and hit the guard rail. The ute hit a concrete culvert and became airborne.

The victim, Mr Farr, was thrown from the back tray of the vehicle and suffered critical injuries.

Others in the ute were less seriously injured with two being transferred to Bathurst Base Hospital and three, including the critically injured Mr Farr, taken to Orange Base Hospital.

Mr Farr was later airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital.

Considering Hobby’s moral culpability, Judge O’Connor said the offender’s level of intoxication was well above the zero tolerance of the driver’s restricted licence. He also took into consideration the catastrophic injures suffered by Mr Farr whose life has forever been changed.

Judge O’Connor said it was plain other road users were potentially at risk. He said the offender had admitted during cross examination he knew he was affected by alcohol and took full responsibility for his actions.

The judge accepted Hobby’s genuine remorse.

Hobby will be eligible for parole on March 24, 2019.