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Daughter of hit-run victim criticises ‘lenient’ jail sentence handed to driver

Neil Mitchell

The daughter of a hit-run victim has criticised the 4-month jail sentence handed down to the man who struck and killed her father.

Popular athletics coach Thomas Kelly, 80, was hit by a car while he crossed Birmingham Road in Mt Evelyn about 7pm on September 14th, 2013.

The driver, Peter Chilcott, and his passenger, Lorraine Morris, did not stop to check on Mr Kelly. His body was found by the side of the road 12 hours later.

It is not known if immediate medical attention could have saved him.

Mr Kelly’s daughter, Colleen Murphy, contacted 3AW Mornings after Neil Mitchell interviewed Detective Inspector Bernie Rankin about the punishments handed down to hit-run drivers.

Ms Murphy said the justice system had let her family and her father down.

‘Our family and friends feel that Dad’s life was dishonoured,’ she said. ‘It was almost like you lose him twice.’

‘You lose him by the horrible circumstances of the crime, the hit run crime.

‘And then you entrust his life or the care of his life to the criminal justice system, and you actually feel like you come away the losers and the perpetrators are the winners because of the lenient sentencing of the court.’

Click play to hear from Colleen Murphy


Chilcott was sentenced to four months jail and ordered to perform 200 hours of community work for failing to stop, failing to render assistance and perverting the court of justice. His partner Lorraine Morris was fined. 

The court heard Chilcott lied to police about the crash, saying he was alone in the car and lying about how much alcohol he had drunk. 

Ms Murphy said the court process had left her  disappointed, despondent and a little angry. 

‘I don’t ever think I’ll understand how they could leave Dad behind at the scene,’ she said.  

‘They could have phoned anonymously. They were more concerned – and this was on police phone taps – about the fact he had been drinking and he might lose his license, rather than the loss of my father’s life.’ 



Neil Mitchell