Ride operator jailed over backpacker plunge
December 12, 2006 12:35pm
Article from: AAP
A RIDE operator has been jailed for almost three years after a backpacker suffered brain damage in a 20m plunge because she was not properly secured into the ride.
Steve Jay Clark, 43, was found guilty in Cairns District Court yesterday of causing grievous bodily harm to English tourist Lucy Keen, 27, on May 29, 2004.
The court was told Clark was hungover on the day of the accident in which Ms Keen plunged 20m to the ground.
Clark failed to properly secure her in a flying fox ride at Cape Tribulation in Queensland's far north.
The ride is a carrier suspended on cables that enables riders to enjoy a sensation akin to flying.
Prosecutor Angus Edwards said Ms Keen required 24-hour care and wasn't likely to recover from her injuries.
He said Clark had never expressed remorse for the injuries inflicted on Ms Keen.
The jury took one hour to find Clark guilty.
He was sentenced to two years and eight months jail, with a non-parole period of 16 months.
Ms Keen's parents, who travelled from England to be at the trial, embraced and cried as the verdict was read out.