A Perth man who killed a volunteer firefighter in a crash during a drug-fuelled road rage chase has been jailed for 13 years.
Father-of-four Mark Noormets, 51, died when a utility driven by Rodney Allen Beard smashed into his car at high speed in December 2012.
Beard was first involved in a road rage incident with a “terrified” Doug Wormall, who tried to call triple-zero before Beard rammed his car three times.
Beard then lost control and veered onto the wrong side of the road, fatally striking Mr Noormets.
A blood test showed Beard had methylamphetamine and amphetamine in his system.
On the second day of his trial in the West Australian Supreme Court, Beard changed his pleas to guilty of manslaughter and doing an act likely to endanger the safety of another person.
During sentencing submissions on Monday, Beard began muttering to himself before a loud outburst, telling Justice Ralph Simmonds he was “pissed off” and had lied twice.
“I don’t know what happened,” Beard, 36, said about the crash.
“I’m trying to be as nice a person to the deceased.”
Beard, who suffered a leg injury in the crash, said he pleaded guilty for the family of the victim but did not actually remember what happened, before Justice Simmonds ordered a brief adjournment.
Victim impact statements were submitted to the court from Mr Wormall, Mr Noormets’ two daughters and his partner of 14 years, with whom he had recently separated before his death.
In sentencing, Justice Simmonds noted Mr Wormall felt guilty about what happened and that Mr Noormets’ children would have to learn to live without their beloved father.
Prosecutor Laura Christian had argued there should be little discount for Beard’s change of plea and that there was a need for general and personal deterrence because Beard’s criminal history showed a “gross breach of road traffic rules”.
But Beard’s lawyer argued his client was remorseful and open to counselling.
Justice Simmonds ordered Beard be eligible for parole after serving 11 years behind bars.
Outside court, Mr Noormets’ former partner, Kate Barlow, said the sentencing meant she and her children could now start again, adding she wanted Mr Noormets to be remembered as a good person.
“He was just a really good role model of what a person can do and how they can make an impact and change their community,” she said.
“I’d like to think that all of the people in our local area will look towards Mark and respect him and remember him.”
Ms Barlow said Mr Wormall was as much of a victim as she and her family.
“I hope that this means that now he can start rebuilding his life as well,” she said.
Ms Barlow said her 17-year-old daughter was in the fire brigade and her 13-year-old had joined the cadets to carry on their father’s legacy.