Family’s battle after tradie's death
THE grieving grandmother of a young tradie who died after being hit by a car at Weipa said their family had been left feeling like "spectators" in their fight for justice during a gruelling 30-month court battle.
Mary Jane Ahern said not enough support was offered to the families of victims during the legal process.
She said they were only able to learn details about what happened to her grandson, Michael Bowden, 20, on the night he died when the offender was sentenced on Wednesday - years later.
"You can't question anything, you're just a spectator," she said, speaking outside the Cairns Magistrates Court following the sentencing of driver Vincent Edwards.
"There is a huge gap in the system and I think that's something that's real for families.
"There's heaps of support for the offender, but nothing for the victims."
The case was plagued by legal delays after charges against Edwards were upgraded then dropped, and a trial date was set, then abandoned when he agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of failing to remain at the scene.
Mr Bowden's mum, Rachael, who along with two other Far North mothers have been campaigning for tougher penalties, said the process had broken her.
"I think I held it all together in the beginning," she said.
When asked how she was coping, she responded: "It depends what day you ask."
She said she had resigned herself to believing Edwards would not serve any time behind bars, so was pleased with the three months he would serve.
"But it's not going to bring (Michael) back," she said.
Mrs Bowden said she hoped to continue campaigning for tougher laws.
Originally published as 'Not going to bring Michael back': Family's battle after tradie death