Jail sentence for teen brother in Gold Coast death case

FEARING retaliation for throwing a vodka bottle through a car window, Alstonville student Samuel Collins helped his sister shift an automatic car into the drive gear while she revved the engine.

For that action, the teen will have a two-year jail sentence hanging over his head for three years.

The panicked decision, made after many hours drinking alcohol while visiting his sister Brydee on the Gold Coast, changed many lives.

The car lurched forward, killing his sister's boyfriend, David Eldridge, 21, in front of his family home at Alberton in the early hours of July 14, 2011.

Samuel's barrister had argued he was simply helping his sister and he did not know which way the car's wheels were pointing but a jury found he still must accept some criminal responsibility for the death.

A jury in Brisbane Supreme Court this week did not convict Samuel of manslaughter but found him guilty of the lesser charge, dangerous driving causing death due to his interference.

His sister Brydee is serving 6.5 years jail for the manslaughter of her boyfriend.

Eldridge's family, who watched the whole thing unfold and were involved in physical and verbal altercations in the lead-up, have since moved to the Sunshine Coast.

The incident stemmed from an alcohol-fuelled argument Brydee and Mr Eldridge were having over a pet dog.


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