“QUOTEWORTHY” 2001

1. “The public community relies upon the courts to try to teach, by the solemn procedures of the criminal law, certain minimum standards of morality and behaviour. The courts act as an agency for the expression of public indignation and condemnation. They do so as a force intended to operate to produce cohesion within a civilised society. I am quite sure that this Court would be in serious dereliction of its duty if it did not take the very grave view of the respondent’s conduct that I have expressed of it. In my opinion this was an atrocious case of recklessly causing serious injury by the sheer and unpardonable abuse of a motor car. Let it therefore be widely known and clearly understood that there is no room in our society for road rage. Nor is there room for a person who, when he climbs aboard a motor car, insulates himself from the world behind a screen of metal and glass and behaves as he likes with arrogance and selfishness. The unceasing proliferation of motor vehicles in our society and on our roads demands that those using them take a correspondingly increasing degree of care in doing so. The respondent, instead of taking care, not only scorned the notion that he should do so but used his own motor car in effect as a weapon. He could hardly have acted in a more potentially lethal manner towards Christopher Lion had he used a firearm to maim or attempt to kill him. I go so far as to say that it would not have been surprising to see the respondent charged with a far more serious offence than that levelled against him by way of count 3.” Per Tadgell JA in DPP v Coleman [2001] VSCA 59; 120 A Crim R 415, Vic Court of Appeal, 2 May 2001.