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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tragic death of Jack Sultan-Page

Jack Sultan-Page was riding his bike near his home in Moulden when he was hit by a car on November 1 last year, and died hours later in Darwin hospital.

After a 24 hour search for the driver, police arrested Matthew Alexander at his home and discovered a work ute involved in the incident.

Alexander was charged with five offences, including hit and run, possession of cannabis and methamphetamine and administering a dangerous drug (to himself).  The most serious offence - hit and run causing death - carries a maximum of 10 years jail.

Matthew Alexander

This week, Alexander walked out of court to start six months detention in the comfort of his own home and an 18 month suspended sentence, plus a few fines.

But there seems to be some confusion over whether Jack's death was an accident or not. Justice Stephen Southwood said Alexander did not cause the boy's death but was sentenced "for leaving the scene of the accident." He believed the defendant was "genuinely remorseful" and had "learnt the error of his ways."

He was also very impressed by the defendant's glowing reports from a drug rehab facility and a letter from the manager who described him as "one of the most committed and inspiring residents we have had in the program for some time."

But Prosecutor Erin McAuley told the court Alexander had spent the night before the incident taking drugs with friends and the night he was arrested he was "sitting in a dirt patch smoking bongs."

Father, Michael Page

So it's no surprise that Jack's parents are furious.  This drug-addicted student is somehow involved in the child's accident, he then leaves him to die on the side of the road, and gets glowing reports about how well he's doing in rehab read out in court.

Any wonder his father Michael Page said the justice system has failed his son. "We don't think the law stood up for him" he said. "A person who gets drunk gets more time, anyone up on domestic violence gets more than a hit and run."

The question has to be asked.  What if the driver of the vehicle had been black, would the cushy sentence still be the same?