Bodie Robert Brown denied bail for fatal Mitchell Highway crash

THE man accused of killing Bletchington Public School assistant principal Kerri Ann Parkes in a collision on the Mitchell Highway in August was speeding, fatigued and under the influence of methamphetamines, Orange Local Court has heard.

Bodie Robert Brown, 21, applied for bail on Monday ahead of his next court appearance on December 19, after choosing not to apply previously.

His solicitor, Neil Jones, said Brown had a history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and also suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following another car accident four years ago where he underwent significant surgery.

“Since he’s been in custody, he’s been unable to access any medication for these issues and he’s had next to no contact with a psychologist, counsellor or psychiatrist – they have only focused on the incident that brings him before the court, not the whole picture,” he said.

Mr Jones said bail would allow his client to access the right care and prepare properly for his case – he told the court Brown would reside with a relative at Cumnock and could be placed under strict curfew and reporting conditions.

But solicitor Michael Fay, appearing for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said Brown was travelling at 140km/h* on a 100km/h stretch of the Mitchell Highway, drug testing showed he was under the influence of methamphetamines and witness statements indicated he had driven non-stop from Queensland with only two hours’ sleep in three days.

Mr Fay also said a witness had taken video footage prior to the accident, which showed Brown’s Holden Commodore “all over the road, swerving”.

“The strength of the prosecution case is overwhelming,” he said.

“Given what I’ve just said, the likelihood with conviction is a custodial sentence.”

Magistrate Terry Lucas refused bail.

Brown is yet to enter a plea for dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, cause bodily harm by misconduct, unlicensed driving and not keeping left.

At about 12.45pm on August 7, Brown was travelling east on the highway at Vittoria when his car collided with another Holden Commodore travelling west.

The 56-year-old male driver of the other vehicle was taken to Orange Health Service for minor injuries, while his wife, Mrs Parkes, died at the scene.

*During sentencing in Orange District Court on Friday, May 5, 2017, it was revealed Brown was travelling 112km/h at the time of the crash, not 140km/h.