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Man who ran down Elijah granted parole

The family of Elijah Doughty say they feel “gutted” after the man who struck down and killed the Aboriginal teenager was granted parole following 19 months behind bars.

The 14-year-old boy was driving a stolen motorcycle near Kalgoorlie in August 2016 when the man, who cannot be named, hit him with his ute.

The father-of-six stood trial charged with manslaughter, but was convicted of the lesser offence of dangerous driving causing death, and was sentenced to three years in jail.

The Prisoners Review Board recently determined the man’s release “would not present an unacceptable risk to the safety of the community”.

But he will have to move interstate to start his new life.

Elijah’s grandfather Albert Doughty said there had been no justice for the boy.

“It’s opened up old wounds,” he told AAP on Tuesday.

“He’ll be walking around free as a bird and Elijah is dead. I feel gutted.”

The board took into consideration the fact the man has no prior criminal record, is considered a low risk of re-offending and the “salutary effect” of his imprisonment.

“The conditions of parole will further reduce the risk to the safety of the community,” the board said.

The man must not have any contact with Elijah’s family and cannot enter the Kalgoorlie area, including Boulder.

He must also attend programs and counselling, seek employment and not change address without approval from a community corrections officer.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler said there had been little reaction within the community.

“The town just wants to move on,” he told AAP.

Mr Bowler said he was very proud of the family and community for the peaceful march held last month ahead of the man’s parole hearing.

But racial tensions appear to be continuing on social media.

Mr Doughty said he had seen some shockingly racist Facebook posts.

“These aren’t kids, they’re grown people. These are educated people. That’s what makes me sick,” he said.

There was a violent riot in Kalgoorlie when the man first appeared in court, with police injured and nearby shops forced to close.

Protests were later held across the country over the case, calling for “justice for Elijah”.


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