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SA truck boss appeals over jail sentence

AAP logoAAP 12/12/2016

An Adelaide trucking company boss, who was jailed for manslaughter over the death of one of his drivers, says his sentence was too harsh and wants it reduced.

Peter Francis Colbert, 57, was jailed for at least seven and a half years in October because he failed to repair the faulty brakes that led to the death of Robert Brimson in 2014.

Colbert applied to appeal against his sentence on Monday, arguing that it is unfairly heavy and it didn't account for his ill-health.

"It is simply manifestly excessive," defence lawyer Bill Boucaut told the Court of Criminal Appeal.

"The learned sentencing judge failed to place any adequate weight on the applicant's physical and psychological health issues."

Mr Boucaut said the sentencing judge also erred by giving too much weight to a prior rape conviction from 30 years ago.

Justice Martin Hinton, QC, granted Colbert permission to appeal over the sentence.

The victim Mr Brimson died when his truck slammed into a pole in suburban Happy Valley as the 45-year-old was veering away from cars and desperately pumping the failed brakes.

His widow Agnes Brimson said her life would never be the same again without her husband.

Colbert was the sole director of his trucking company and was responsible for maintaining a fleet of 11 trucks, including the 14-tonne vehicle with the faulty brakes.

He had been repeatedly warned about the brake problems, and one driver had had a near miss, but Colbert still made his workers get behind the wheel.

He was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison for manslaughter and endangering the life of another driver, with a non-parole period of seven years and five months.

He was previously found guilty of the same crimes but appealed against the conviction, only to be given the same verdict again after a second trial.

Colbert will return to court on December 19.

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