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Truckie who killed family loses appeal bid

AAP logoAAP 3/11/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A truck driver who wanted to appeal his conviction for killing four members of a family when he failed to brake at a stop sign in country Victoria has had his application dismissed.

Jobandeep Singh Gill was jailed for 10 years, and must serve at least six and a half years, after his truck crashed into a sedan carrying a family of five in late February 2014.

Stephen and Jade Beckett and their children Ella, 6, and William, 2, were killed while their son Samuel, then nine, was pulled from the crash by a passer-by.

Gill told people who stopped at the crash site that his truck's gears were at fault and he told an ambulance worker he had slowed down.

He told police that he had stopped, but that his gears had become stuck when he entered the intersection.

A mechanical analysis found no fault that would have caused or contributed to the collision and Judge Geoffrey Chettle said there was no evidence of pre-impact braking or evasive driving.

During his trial, Gill conceded he had failed to stop and that he had entered the intersection at a speed of an estimated 60km/h, but he argued it was a road engineering issue that led to the fatal crash.

"The driver of this motorcar ... (was) at the mercy of road authorities to provide a safe environment in which to operate motor vehicles," defence barrister Anthony Lavery said.

"And we say this was not one, and it has had terrible consequences."

Gill filed an application for leave to appeal against his four convictions for causing the deaths of the Beckett family on the grounds that his lies at the scene of the accident should never have been heard by the jury.

The lies were irrelevant and the admission of them into evidence caused a substantial miscarriage of justice, he said.

The judge's direction to the jury that Gill's lies could not be relied upon in determining his guilt was insufficient to cure the prejudice from allowing the lies to be heard, Gill further submitted to the Appeal Court.

The Court of Appeal found the jury was clearly told to determine the applicant's guilt only by reference to "what he did and why he did it".

The court on Friday refused Gill's application for leave to appeal.

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