Former champion jailed

North West Telegraph

A former champion WA jockey who accidentally hit and killed his mate with his car after they had been drinking together at a Port Hedland pub was sentenced to 22 months jail today.

Picture by Rod Taylor

The South Hedland Magistrates Court was told an emotional Troy Morrissey, 34, attempted to revive Gordon Pashen following the incident on Great Northern Highway and was covered in the deceased’s blood when police arrived.

“I killed him, I killed my mate,” defence lawyer Terry Dobson told the court, recounting Morrissey’s comments to police on the night.

Mr Pashen, a work colleague and cricket teammate of Morrissey, was struck by the accused’s Ford Falcon about 1km from where they had been drinking with friends at the Walkabout Hotel on December 11 last year.

Magistrate Martin Flynn heard Morrissey, who pleaded guilty to the charges of dangerous driving causing death and driving under the influence, was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.170.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Barratt said Morrissey’s car was observed to be “fishtailing” and travelling above the posted speed limit prior to the incident. He said Mr Pashen was struck despite walking 1.5m from the roadside.

Mr Dobson said his client was extremely regretful of the incident but accepted the severity of his actions. “To describe this as a tragedy is insufficient,” he said.

Mr Dobson said a cricket game organised by Morrissey had raised almost $14,000 for the Pashen family and would become an annual event.

Prior to moving to the Pilbara to pursue a career in the resources industry, Morrissey was a top apprentice jockey in Perth and the Goldfields, winning the city apprentice’s premiership in 1996-97 after riding 27 metro winners.

Morrissey will be eligible for parole after 11 months. His driver’s licence has been suspended for two years.

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