Loading...
Queensland Judgments

beta

Authorised Reports & Unreported Judgments
Exit Distraction Free Reading Mode
  • Unreported Judgment

R v Heazlewood

 

[2018] QSC 112

 

SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND

 

CITATION:

R v Heazlewood [2018] QSC 112

PARTIES:

THE QUEEN
v
DANIEL PAUL HEAZLEWOOD
(the defendant)

FILE NO/S:

SC No 1215 of 2017

SC No 644 of 2018

DIVISION:

Trial Division

PROCEEDING:

SENTENCE

ORIGINATING COURT:

Supreme Court, Brisbane – 14 May 2018

DELIVERED EX TEMPORE ON:

14 May 2018

DELIVERED AT:

Brisbane

HEARING DATES:

9 May 2018, 14 May 2018

JUDGE:

Boddice J

CATCHWORDS:

Criminal law – Particular offences – Offences against the person – Homicide – Manslaughter – Sentence – where the defendant plead guilty to manslaughter as a charge alternative to murder – where the defendant unlawfully killed his own mother – where the defendant interfered with the corpse – where the defendant was aged 22 years at the time of the offence – where the offence occurred during a struggle – where the defendant gave false accounts about the deceased’s whereabouts – where the defendant later confessed to police – where the defendant cooperated with police by identifying the location of the deceased – where no remains were recovered – where the defendant showed no remorse for the unlawful killing – where the defendant committed drug and driving related offences at a later time – where the defendant breached a suspended sentence – where sentences of imprisonment were imposed cumulatively – where a parole eligibility date was fixed

Criminal law – Procedure – Confiscation of proceeds of crime and related matters – Forfeiture or confiscation – Proceeds of crime, tainted property or confiscable property – where a Serious Drug Offence Certificate was issued – where a Confiscation Order was issued pursuant to the Drugs Misuse Act, the Weapons Act and the Explosives Act

COUNSEL:

V Loury for the Crown

J B Godbolt for the defendant

SOLICITORS

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Crown

Legal Aid Queensland for the defendant

  1. BODDICE J:  Daniel Paul Heazlewood, you are to be sentenced today on one count of manslaughter and one count of interfering with a corpse, both on indictment 1215 of 2017.  You are also to be sentenced on one count of producing a dangerous drug, one count of supplying a dangerous drug, one count of possessing anything used in connection with producing a dangerous drug, one count of possessing a dangerous drug, and one count of publishing or possessing instructions for producing dangerous drugs, all on indictment 644 of 2018, together with four summary charges, being one of unlawful possession of weapons, category A, B, or M;  one of authority required to possess explosives;  one of possessing utensils or pipes that had been used;  and one of operating or interfering with the operation of a motor vehicle, dangerously in any place, excessively speeding or taking part in an unlawful race or unlawful speed trial.
  2. To your credit, you pleaded guilty to all of the indictable offences and the summary charges.  The plea of guilty to manslaughter occurred in the context of an indictment having been presented charging you with murder.  The Crown accept the plea of guilty to manslaughter in satisfaction of that indictment.  Your pleas of guilty have saved the community Court time and significant cost.  Those pleas of guilty are evidence of cooperation with the administration of justice.  Offenders who plead guilty, thereby cooperating with the administration of justice, ought to receive the benefit of that cooperation.  You will receive the benefit of that cooperation in the sentences I impose today.
  3. The offences are serious.  The count of manslaughter involves unlawfully killing your own mother in June 2009.  By accepting your plea of guilty to manslaughter, the Crown acknowledges that unlawful killing was not intentional.  The Crown accepts your mother was killed in the course of a struggle after she had confronted you with a knife.  You placed pressure on her neck area whilst attempting to restrain her.  As a consequence, you caused her death.
  4. Reprehensibly, you thereafter showed disdain for her.  You left her on the floor, uncaring whether she was alive or dead.  You then moved her to the bedroom.  You left her there for a day or so, again, not caring whether she was alive or dead.  Once you had ascertained she was dead, you acquired a shovel and lime, wrapped her body, and took her to an isolated location in the Numinbah Valley, where you dug a hole which filled with water.  You placed her body and the lime in that hole.  That conduct involves disgraceful behaviour.  You were the deceased’s own son.  You disrespected her completely.
  5. Your reprehensible behaviour did not end there.  Thereafter, you engaged in a course of lies and subterfuge.  You gave false accounts, to a variety of people, of your mother having left to travel to New Zealand.  You used her motor vehicle.  You remained in her publicly funded accommodation.  You made statements to friends and associates which evidences your continuing disrespect for your mother as a human being.
  6. Your lies continued even when, many years later in 2015, you became a suspect in the police investigation into your mother’s disappearance.  Ultimately, you confessed to having killed your mother.  Thereafter, you took steps to take police to the site of her burial.  Whilst those steps did not result in the recovery of any of your mother’s remains, police accept you made genuine efforts to assist in finding those remains.
  7. The drug offences and summary charges arise out of events which occurred during the course of the police investigation into your mother’s disappearance.  As a result of the execution of a search warrant, police found evidence of a cannabis production operation in one of the bedrooms of the house you occupied with another person.  They found a quantity of hydroponic equipment and a marijuana grower’s handbook.  In the refrigerator of that dwelling, they located a quantity of steroids.
  8. An interview with your fellow tenant revealed the room had been used to produce cannabis for some time.  You were responsible for tending that crop.  Whilst the first production did not work, the second production produced something in the order of two or three pounds of cannabis, which was sold for profit.  I accept the production of those dangerous drugs was committed for a commercial purpose.
  9. Those circumstances constitute the facts in respect of counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on indictment 644 of 2018.  Three of the summary charges also arise out of that search.  The remaining summary charge, the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle whilst excessively speeding, relates to events on 27 August 2015.  You drove a motor vehicle well in excess of the speed limit along a windy road near Hinze Dam.  At an intersection along that route, you conducted several burnouts and reversed for a period of some 15 minutes.  You also caused the vehicle to slide sideways around the intersection.  That conduct is serious conduct, having regard to your appalling traffic history.
  10. In coming to an appropriate penalty, I have regard to the circumstances of your various offending and the fact that it involved discrete episodes of offending many years apart.  I also have regard to a number of factors which are properly to be taken into account in mitigation.  First, your age.  At the time you unlawfully killed your mother, you were only 22 years of age.  You were 28 at the time of the remaining offending.  Second, your criminal history.  Whilst you have a criminal history and an appalling traffic history, it is noteworthy that you have no prior offending for violence or drugs.  You had not previously served actual time in custody, although you had received a sentence of imprisonment of three months, suspended for 12 months, some months prior to unlawfully killing your mother.  That offence breaches that suspended sentence.
  11. Fourth, you grew up in a dysfunctional family.  You were taken from the care of your mother as a consequence of neglect.  Your mother had significant mental health issues which caused you significant hardship as a child and through adolescence into adulthood.  Fifth, despite that dysfunctional upbringing, you had a good work history.  Sixth, you have now served some 936 days in custody, during which you have taken steps to rehabilitate yourself.  You have held employment.  There is no suggestion you have been other than cooperative during that incarceration.  Finally, there are your pleas of guilty and the cooperation shown by those pleas of guilty.
  12. It is submitted on your behalf that I ought to accept that those pleas evidence genuine remorse.  I am not satisfied that is so.  Whilst I do not doubt that you regret your current predicament, your conduct in the years after you unlawfully killed your mother and interfered with her corpse are inconsistent with remorse for your actions.  Similarly, your conduct at the commencement of the police investigation is inconsistent with such a conclusion.  It seems to me you held a genuine hatred for your mother and never regretted her demise.  That was confirmed in the statements you made to various people.
  13. In coming to an appropriate penalty, I have regard to the serious aspects of your offending, as well as the matters in your favour, by way of mitigation.  I also have regard to the purpose of sentencing you.  That is, on the one hand, to punish you to an extent or in a way that is just in all of the circumstances, and on the other hand, where appropriate, to provide conditions which I consider will help and encourage your prospects of rehabilitation.  In undertaking that balance, the sentence must deter you and other like-minded individuals from committing the same or a similar offence in the future.  It must also indicate the community’s denunciation for your criminal conduct and protect the Queensland community.
  14. I have been referred to a number of authorities.  They indicate that, in the case of the offence of manslaughter, there are a vast array of circumstances in which that offence can occur which substantially impact upon what is an appropriate sentence.  In your case, I must also have regard to the fact that you are to be sentenced for other criminal conduct committed many years later and involving completely different behaviour.  That separate offending justifies the imposition of a cumulative period of imprisonment.  I must have regard to that fact when determining the appropriate sentences to ensure the sentence overall reflects your criminality and does not involve a crushing sentence.
  15. The imposition of a cumulative period of imprisonment is also relevant, having regard to the offence of interference with a corpse.  That particularly reprehensible behaviour is of a magnitude which itself justifies the imposition of a cumulative period of imprisonment.  I will have regard to that matter as well in ensuring that the overall sentence properly reflects your criminality.  I will also have regard to the consequences of your actions.  You will have to live with the fact that you took your own mother’s life.  You have seen the devastation it has caused for your mother’s family and will cause them for the rest of their lives.
  16. Balancing all of those matters, I sentence you as follows.  Daniel Paul Heazelwood, on count 1 of indictment 1215 of 2017 you are convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.  On count 2 of that indictment, you are convicted and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.  On count 1 of indictment 644 of 2017, you are convicted and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.  On count 2 of that indictment, you are convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.  On counts 3 and 5 of that indictment, you are convicted, but not further punished.  I have had regard to them in the sentence imposed on count 1 on the indictment.  On count 4 of that indictment, you are convicted and sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
  17. On the summary charge of possession of a weapon, you are convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment.  On the summary charge of authority required for explosives and the summary charge of possession of utensils, you are convicted and not further punished.  On the summary charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle whilst excessively speeding, you are convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment.  I order you be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period of two years.
  18. I order that the sentence of imprisonment imposed on count 2 of indictment 1215 of 2017 be served cumulatively on the sentence of imprisonment imposed on count 1 of that indictment.  I order that the sentences of imprisonment imposed in respect of each of the counts on indictment 644 of 2018 and on the summary charges be served concurrently with each other, but cumulatively upon the sentences of imprisonment imposed on the counts on indictment 1215 of 2017.  I record convictions in respect of all of the indictable offences and each of the summary charges.
  19. I declare the 936 days you have served in custody, between 21 October 2015 and 13 May 2018, as time served in respect of those sentences of imprisonment.  Allowing for that time served and the factors in your favour, particularly your pleas of guilty, I set your parole eligibility date at 20 July 2020, that is, four years, nine months.
  20. I am satisfied you have been convicted of a serious drug offence, namely, producing a dangerous drug.  I am satisfied you committed that offence with a commercial purpose.  I am satisfied a serious drug offence certificate should issue.  I have signed the certificate.  I will issue in due course.
  21. I am also satisfied it is appropriate to make the orders sought under the originating application filed by leave today.  I make orders pursuant to the Drugs Misuse Act, the Weapons Act and the Explosives Act in accordance with the draft, which I have initialled and placed with the papers.
  22. I am satisfied your conviction of the offences on indictment 1215 of 2017 breaches the suspended sentence imposed in the Magistrates Court at Southport on 10 June 2009.  I am satisfied it would not be unjust to activate the whole of that suspended sentence.  I activate the whole of that suspended sentence.  I order that suspended sentence be served concurrently with the sentence of imprisonment imposed on count 1 of indictment 1215 of 2017.  I record a conviction in respect of the breach of that suspended sentence.

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    R v Heazlewood

  • Shortened Case Name:

    R v Heazlewood

  • MNC:

    [2018] QSC 112

  • Court:

    QSC

  • Judge(s):

    Boddice J

  • Date:

    14 May 2018

Litigation History

Event Citation or File Date Notes
Primary Judgment [2018] QSC 112 14 May 2018 Date of Sentence (Boddice J).

Appeal Status

No Status