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Family of couple killed in crash speaks out about 'devastating' sentence



The families of expecting Brisbane couple Kate Leadbetter and Matthew Field have spoken out following the "devastating" sentencing of their killer.

Leadbetter and Field had been walking their dogs in Alexandra Hills last year when a then 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, struck them in a stolen car.

A court heard the teenager had been high and drunk during the incident, running a red light and hitting a truck before catapulting into the couple, killing them and their unborn child.

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The now 18-year-old driver was sentenced to 10 years in jail but he could be released in six.

Field's father Russell Field said the sentencing had failed the young family.

"The sentence needs to reflect the crime and it is a crime, no matter who you are," he said.

"This individual would have been fist-pumping all the way home saying, 'You beauty – I've only got six years for the death of three people.'

"The last week with court proceedings, as they have been, has been disappointing, at the end of the day."

The family has signed a petition calling for a sentencing appeal and is pushing for harsher penalties for the young offender as well as other juvenile offenders.

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Field's father Russell Field said the sentencing had failed the young family.

"Even though we thought maybe this individual was getting off on a lighter sentence than he should be, it was pretty devastating to get a true indication of the previous sentences and activities he's been doing and the lenience imposed on him with those sentences," Field said.

"Somewhere along the line, the justice system isn't working and it hasn't been working for some time."

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli also signed the petition, throwing his support behind the family.

"We must stand for change," he said.

Labor MP Don Brown said locals are angry and want action.

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Field's parents say they won't let their son or his family be forgotten.

"I just signed the petition then in solidarity with the family, it's not a position of the government at the moment but I think we should be open in regards to discussions, particularly with the family of victims, about what we can do further," he said.

The state government is currently waiting for advice from the attorney-general to determine if the driver's sentence should be appealed.

Government sources have told 9News that unless the appeal has a good chance of success, pursuing it would be a waste of taxpayer money and could put the family through a tough and unnecessary court battle.

Field's parents say they won't let their son or his family be forgotten.

"If this doesn't send a message to the lawmakers of this state, nothing will," his father said.

"Unless a bus full of kids drives through here and gets hit by a semi-trailer and it kills all of them, because nothing can replace Matt, Kate and (their baby) Miles."

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