Heartfelt statements the judge ignored
CLANCY Shannon, 19, died after being thrown from the tray of a ute during a drunken joy ride with his friends on North Stradbroke Island in March.
His best mate, Dylan Luke Stubberfield, 19, was today sentenced to four years' jail after pleading guilty in the Brisbane District Court to dangerous driving causing death while intoxicated.
Stubberfield's sentence will be suspended after the 19-year-old has served three months behind bars.
News Queensland has obtained the full heartbreaking victim impact statements from the parents of the teen who was killed that were read in court today, where they astonishingly called on the courts to keep their dead son's mate out of jail.
MARK SHANNON, CLANCY SHANNON'S FATHER
Clancy Shannon is my son and I loved him dearly.
He was my world and pride and joy.
We were very close and shared the same recreational interest in fishing and surfing, so therefore spent more time together than the average father and son.
We home-schooled Clancy and his sister until 2011 and are a very close-knit family.
Clancy had a wide circle of friends who spent a great deal of their spare time at our house.
We live really close to one of the most popular surfing beaches, so our place became the place to hang out and watch a video or grab a snack between surfing and spear fishing adventures.
The day Clance died was probably the happiest I'd ever seen him.
He'd just been in a surfing competition down the coast and done really well.
His sprits and excitement were high on the afternoon of (March 2, 2018).
He was heading to a camping adventure with his girlfriend and all his closest friends.
The young people with Clancy that night we've known all our lives and we love them like family.
They went camping together often, and on the night that the accident happened, I was with him when he passed, and to say that I'm devastated is an understatement.
I'm still trying to come to terms with it.
Dylan Stubberfield, who was driving the vehicle, is one of Clancy's good friends.
I've never heard Clance or my daughter say a bad word about him.
He is a well-mannered, mild sort-of young fellow who made a bad choice that night, as did Clancy and the rest of the crew that got into the back of that ute.
On North Stradbroke Island, beach four-wheel-driving is part of life.
The island seems to make its visitors and residents alike feel a sense of freedom...
I have to say, I've made the exact same poor choice myself as a young adult.
I don't hold any malice against Dylan, and I for one do not want to see him do any jail time.
I can't see the benefit in jail time for Dylan. I feel like it would do more harm than good.
I know in my heart he will never make this poor decision again.
He comes to visit us often, and I know this would be so hard for him to do.
He is totally crushed, just like we are, and has to live with Clancy's death for the rest of his life.
Our family and Dylan's family will never get over this tragedy.
Both families and the wider community know it was a tragic accident and mistake, and if you can show as much leniency as possible, I will be greatly relieved.
In my view, his real sentence has already been set.
DONNA SHANNON, CLANCY SHANNON'S MOTHER
We've had seven months to process the loss of our beloved son Clancy Shannon.
He was truly no ordinary man.
He was a pleasure to parent, loads of fun to be around, helpful and openly loving.
He was very adventurous, inspired by the natural environment, often brutally honest, well-rounded and kind to all.
He was a born leader, without desiring or chasing that role.
People were drawn to him and wanted to follow him.
His followers were keen to see what he would do or stay next.
His presence in the community was greatly valued.
To say we feel broken, gutted and a sense of enormous emptiness are understatements.
The reality is we are reinventing ourselves both individually and as... a family.
Life as we knew it has vanished.
We have no road map for this new journey.
My mum rang me two hours prior to the accident and inquired as to how we were all going.
I gave her a glowing report of all of our latest achievements and some aspirations, and reflected momentarily about how perfect my life and family was.
As you can imagine we are all dealing with Clancy's passing differently...
So how am I coping and dealing with my new reality and not-so-perfect life?
I knew straight away that Clancy's sudden passing would somehow have purpose and meaning in my life.
I believe that life begins and ends at precise moments for reasons that are beyond my current level of understanding.
I assume, therefore, that the significantly huge experience of loss had to have some great teaching and value for me in my life.
I mentally reviewed the almost 20 years that I've had Clancy, and it was clear to me the upbringing we have given him and the lifestyle and love we shared were beyond doubt beautiful, as well as perfect.
Clancy had recently told me that his goal in life was to be happy, and he was so happy before he passed.
I knew there was absolutely nothing missing, no words left unsaid, no goal left unrealised, no regrets.
The realisation was comforting.
I took note of many nearby family stories that were not so happy and felt sorry for others not as fortunate as me.
I am now on a journey to discover what I am here for and why this happened...
I have always said old age is not a given.
One must love hard, and die with a full heart and a clear conscience.
Clancy's passing reaffirms to me that life, relationships and time are all fleeting and precious...
Life is short, although at times it feels long and arduous and repetitive.
Old age is not guaranteed, just assumed.
Love and relationships are all that matter...
I absolutely cherish my time spent with Clancy, and now value each person in my daily life, and each moment with more vigour and sincerity.
Clancy's passing is extremely relevant in my life...
We are all eternal and Clancy is still here, I just can't see touch or hear him in the same way that I was accustomed to.
The love shared between us is unaltered, but transformed.
Clancy's time of passing is as it was meant to be.
... I have no blame or animosity toward Dylan Stubberfield.
Clancy loved Dylan and we love him too.
He is a big part of our island family.
Clancy was a great judge of character and only brought home the best of the bunch. Like attracts like.
Dylan is a good kid, from a good family and is super respectful, motivated and hardworking.
I do not believe that Dylan's driving was the cause of Clancy's death. Clancy fell from the ute, he lost his grip while trying to change positions...
Many bad decisions were made that night by many young men.
I acknowledge that it is your job to uphold the law and that a punishment must be administered.
Clancy has left a huge hole in our family and the members of this small community's lives, and we will all continue to process and support one another and learn from his passing.
The group of young men in the ute that night were full of bravado, testosterone and a sense of adventure.
They all screwed up.
Blame cannot be placed on one single person.
All of the young men in Dylan's ute... will never be as quite as carefree and innocent as they were previously.
No matter what punishment you administer, this will always be the most severe punishment of them all, that they will endure.
They will all spend the rest of their lives missing Clancy and wishing he will still around.
They will wish with all of their might they made different decisions that night.
In the future, we will all wonder 'what would Clancy say or do?'
They loved and revered him immensely...
The biggest challenge we face is that Clancy is not here physically.
He will always be greatly missed by all.
Dylan Stubberfield is here and he is also loved and respected in this tight knit community...
We do not want to lose another one of our boys in this small community.
Please let this experience so far be the greatest punishment that he, his family and our family need to endure.
We do not need any more loss or suffering.
Dylan works for me in my business and visits me in my family home, along with all of Clancy's mates.
He helps me whenever he can.
We share a common love and friendship for each other.
I would be utterly devastated and distressed to see the stiff arm of the law to make some kind of example out of him.
We need to remember that young people feel impulsive and indestructible and in most cases they live to tell the tale.
This was just Clancy's time to pass, and we will all learn greatly form his presence as well as his absence.
Clancy will continue to teach us beyond his short earthly lifespan.