Shattered parents break down as they relive the moment they found out their son and his pregnant partner had been killed by a drunk, drug-addled teen
- Parents reveal moment they realised their son had been mowed down by driver
- Matthew Field, 37, and Kate Leadbetter, 31, were killed on Australia Day last year
- Russell and Ann Field said they heard about the horror crash in the evening news
- Couple had to wait three hours for their ‘worst fears’ to be confirmed by police
- Teenager aged 17 at the time was handed a six-year sentence in court last week
- Queensland Attorney-General announced she would file an appeal of sentence
Heartbroken parents have revealed the life-changing moment they realised their son and his pregnant partner had been mowed down by a teenage driver.
Kate Leadbetter, 31, and her partner Matthew Field, 37, were about to become parents for the first time, to a son they named Miles, when they were run over in Alexandra Hills in eastern Brisbane on Australia Day last year.
Matthew’s parents Russell and Ann Field have shares that they realised their son had been killed as they tuned in to the evening news 18 months ago.
Matthew’s parents Russell and Ann Field (pictured) have revealed the moment they realised their son had been killed as they tuned in to the evening news 18 months ago
‘We were watching the news on TV and (at) quarter past six … (there was) a news flash, you know, ‘Young couple killed at Alexandra Hills while walking their dogs,” Mr Field told A Current Affair.
‘And we both looked at each other at the same time basically and Ann said, ‘I think that’s Matt and Kate.’
The couple were forced to wait three hours for their worst fears to be confirmed by two police officers who knocked on the door.
Neither officer has returned to work after delivering the tragic news, with Russell and Ann also unable to face returning to work since the crash 18 months ago.
The driver, who cannot be named because he was 17 at the time, ran a red light in a stolen Landcruiser and collided with a truck before rolling and hitting the couple.
He ran from the scene and attempted to steal another vehicle before he was stopped by a local resident who pinned him down.
The convicted teenager was found to have a blood alcohol content between 0.151 and 0.192 per cent at the time of the crash.
Kate Leadbetter, 31, and her partner Matthew Field, 37, were about to become parents for the first time, to a son they named Miles, when they were run over in Brisbane in January, 2021
The driver, who cannot be named because he was 17 at the time, ran a red light in a stolen Landcruiser (pictured) and collided with a truck before rolling and hitting the couple
He had been drinking and using cannabis from about 10am that day.
The 18-year-old – who was first charged with murder, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and a raft of other charges.
The teenager last week heard he would jailed for ten years but Justice Martin Burns ordered that he be eligible for parole after serving six years.
He said the tragedy was as an ‘almost inevitable consequence’ of the teen’s actions in the lead up to the crash.
Justice Burns said taking into account the teen’s protracted period of extremely dangerous driving that culminated in a grossly negligent final act, he regarded the manslaughter offences as ‘particularly heinous’.
‘No sentence will be adequate … (and) can’t do justice to the suffering you have caused,’ he told the teenager.
The sentence has sparked controversy across the nation with many questioning if it was proportionate to the crime that wiped out an entire family.
Matthew’s parents (pictured arriving to court last week) have slammed the ‘inadequate’ sentence and said putting the teen driver behind bars for life still wouldn’t be enough
The couple had been ‘so excited’ to become parents and had named their unborn baby Miles
Mr Field has slammed the ‘inadequate’ sentence and insisted that putting the teen driver behind bars for life still wouldn’t be enough.
‘Six years for killing three people, we classify Miles as a person, is totally incomprehensible and not acceptable on any person’s terms,’ he said.
Mr Field warned that if the government ‘sits on their hands on this’ that they would be held accountable and said Queensland’s justice system was flawed.
‘It’s a joke. In our hearts, lock him up for life. He took three lives that day. Three lives gone in an instant,’ he said.
‘Our lives will never be the same with this tragic loss, and has affected me, my family and friends in every possible way.’
He told A Current Affair the first word that came to mind when he heard the six-year sentence was ‘bull****’.
‘I just couldn’t believe it, my heart was ripped out again,’ his wife Ann agreed.
She said the young parents had been ‘so excited’ to be parents and described the crash that ended their dreams as ‘unfathomable’.
Matthew’s mother Ann (pictured in Brisbane last week) described the crash as ‘unfathomable’
Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman (left) announced she would file an appeal on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate
On Thursday, Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman announced she would file an appeal on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate.
Ms Fentimen said she had sought advice from the director of public prosecutions on the day of the sentencing and had received a reply on Thursday morning.
‘I can confirm the grounds of appeal are that the sentence of manslaughter was manifestly inadequate particularly as the judge had determined the offence was a heinous offence,’ Ms Fentiman told reporters.
‘I want to pay tribute to the family of Matt and Kate and acknowledge what they have been through and the community’s frustration and anger about this case.’
Both the Field and Leadbetter families had shared their hopes the sentence would be appealed with a petition receiving over 47,000 signatures from outraged Australians.