Protestors gathered outside the Kalgoorlie Court House today after the man charged with killing Indigenous teenager Elijah Doughty in August last year was pronounced not guilty of manslaughter.
The 56-year-old man was sentenced to only three years jail for dangerous driving occasioning death for running over the 14-year-old boy in his ute.
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Doughty was riding a stolen motorcycle believed to be the property of the man down a boggy and uneven track, and the man began to follow him about 100 metres. The defendant claimed that the boy suddenly swerved in front of his car so he could not avoid a collision. Doughty rolled under the ute and died instantly from severe injuries to his neck, chest, pelvis and right leg, a fractured skull and bruised lungs.
As the verdict was handed down, members of the public gallery, overwhelmed by grief and anger, shouted abuse at the man.
Kalgoorlie elders say the verdict is an injustice. Elder Trevor Donaldson said: “When you get a decision like that, that hurts and of course people are going to vent.”
Protestors, escorted by riot police, carried Indigenous flags as they marched down the city’s main street, shouting: “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”
Later, friends and relatives had a candlelit vigil at the spot where Doughty was killed. Another vigil was held in Perth.
In September last year, riots broke out in Kalgoorlie, when community members tried to attend the man’s initial hearing, with seven men charged. The man’s house was also burnt down, and his wife and children have since moved out of the state.
Photo: Facebook / Elijah Doughty.