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Crash driver’s grief

Wednesday, 16th October, 2013

By By Andrew Robertson

A man who crashed his car on the Silverton Road had tried to kill himself following the death of his month-old son, the Local Court has been told.

A heavily-intoxicated Michael Love was flung from his Mitsubishi Pajero as it flipped three times on the evening of January 2 this year.

Mr Love, who was found semi-conscious and bleeding from the head by a passerby, was transferred to Flinders Hospital in Adelaide where he was placed in an induced coma for four days.

Yesterday the 29-year-old appeared in court, with his de factor partner and mother of the child by his side, and was being sentenced for drink driving and assaulting police.

The court heard the accident was a suicide attempt by the former miner following a traumatic few months that culminated in the death of his son.

His lawyer, Wes Burton, told the court that Mr Love had been acutely affected by the death because it was he who had found his son unconscious and not breathing.

After trying to resuscitate the child, a panicked Mr Love drove to the hospital with the baby in his arms but the little boy was later pronounced dead, Mr Burton said.

This, and the recent loss of two other family members, went some towards explaining why Mr Love had offended “in such a significant way”.   

Mr Love, who has also been declared bankrupt, was using alcohol to “dull the pain.

“Mr Love was diagnosed with depression and significant psychiatric distress,” Mr Burton said.

The court heard he was now living at the family’s station property with his two other sons and gaining “some control over these issues”.

“He is in a better place,” said Mr Burton, who asked that the court consider a sentence other than imprisonment.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy spared Mr Love jail, wholly suspending the eight-month prison term he imposed for high range drink driving.

He also placed him on good behaviour bonds for resisting arrest and assaulting police, banned him from driving for 18 months and fined him a total of $750.

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