Call Us Now: 0416 126 532

K v Keri-Ann Conley

Kerri-Ann Conley was yesterday sentenced to 9 years imprisonment for 2 counts of manslaughter. The 3 years that she spent in pre-custody was declared as time already served under the sentence and the Court ordered that she be eligible for parole in November 2024.

Originally, she was the first person in Queensland to be charged under the expanded definition of murder, “reckless indifference to human life”, which was introduced on 7 May 2019. The charges would later be downgraded to manslaughter.

The new definition came about following a review of the inadequacy of sentences imposed in respect to the death of children. Recklessness was included as an element of murder in section 302 of the QLD Criminal Code to capture a wider range of offending as murder in Queensland, reflecting that intention and foresight of probable consequences are morally equivalent – that a person who foresees the probability of death is just as blameworthy as the person who intends to kill.

What makes this case particular distressing is the fact that it could have been preventable and that the father of the children had sought to take the children from the mother’s care, he had tried to bring the mother’s drug use and neglect of the children to the attention of Child Safety, however the system clearly failed these little girls.

In handing down Ms. Conley’s sentence, Justice Peter Applegarth stated, “To Mr. Jackson and other victims, I doubt if sentences that were double what I imposed would have done much to ease your grief. And no sentence will bring back those beautiful girls. A judge has to sentence according to law, not according to what number will make one popular with a victim, a defendant or anyone else, or with a group of individuals or the general public.”

Kerri-Ann Conley.jpg
Source: Courier Mail (16/02/2023)

Charged With a Criminal Offence or Under Investigation?