Drug-driving mum jailed for killing her own son
A WOMAN who killed her own son in a car crash while high on ice, and then continued drug-driving while on bail, will spend at least two years behind bars.
On Thursday, Stacey Brooke Panozzo wept as the District Court refused to excuse or show mercy for her ongoing, drug-fuelled irresponsibility on the roads.
Judge Paul Cuthbertson said Panozzo tested positive for illicit drugs on nine separate occasions after the crash - and had been caught driving two of those times.
"All of these offences are more serious, having been committed after you killed your own son," he said.
"The fact you were in the grips of a methylamphetamine addiction goes some way to explaining (it), but your offending is not excused by it.
"Your offending is too serious to warrant a suspended sentence - you must be personally deterred, given the continuation of offending after the crash."
Panozzo, 35, of Callington, pleaded guilty to one aggravated count of causing death, and one of causing serious harm, by dangerous driving.
She killed her seven-year-old son, Jackson Levi Rayner, and injured her daughter Lara, in a crash on Brookman Rd, Kuitpo, in November 2017.
Panozzo was also injured while her other son, Harley, suffered shock.
Her counsel had asked the court for mercy, saying their client had an acquired brain injury as a result of the crash and needed "significant" medical assistance, not jail.
On Thursday, Judge Cuthbertson said Panozzo started using ice in late 2016 or early 2017 and soon became "aggressive" and a "problem" for her family.
He said she and the children had left their home in the early hours of the morning of the crash, without her partner's knowledge.
The crash occurred because she was "inattentive or fatigued", with the car leaving the road at about 100km/h, losing control on the verge and crashing into a tree.
Judge Cuthbertson said Panozzo tested positive for numerous drugs including diazepam, ketamine, fentanyl, ecstasy and OxyContin after the crash.
"The death of an individual human being is a terrible thing, and driving a motor vehicle so dangerously to risk that is an offence of the most grave kind," he said.
"The fact that the human being in this case is your own child is no doubt a severe punishment for you, but it's small comfort for the individual who's life was lost.
"He will never get the chance to grow up and enjoy life."
He jailed Panozzo for three years, eight months, two weeks and four days, with a non-parole period of two years and two months.
Upon her release, Panozzo will be disqualified from driving for 10 years.