On Friday the 16th of March 2018, Adem Arpaci was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment after a tragic event that took place on the 27th of January 2016. Harley Churchill's vehicle veered off the E.J Whitten Bridge due to a tyre blow out on the Western Ring Road. Harley was travelling at a speed of approximately 182kmh at the time of the crash. Unfortunately both himself and his passenger lost their lives to crash.
Adem was found guilty of two (2) counts of culpable driving causing death on the 9th of February 2018 in his second trial. During the first trial in 2017, the jury verdict came out to be hung. The autopsy report revealed that Harley was under the influence of the notorious ICE narcotic. Not only that, Harley was driving with an under inflated tyre after attending a series of illegal "skids" burnout gatherings in Melbourne's north. Harley also changed his tyres earlier in the night in preparation of the event and therefore resulted in his vehicle having different tyres at the front of the vehicle and the rear.
At the time of the crash, Harley overtook a truck ahead of him whilst undertaking a fishtail, and his tyre blew out as a result. Further, Adem's and Harley's vehicles did not come into contact at all as Adem was travelling in the far right lane. Regardless, Adem has been held accountable for Harley's actions. Adem did not force Harley to take place in a race, Adem had no involvement in changing Harley's tyres on his vehicle, and Adem did not force Harley to take drugs. Everybody has been given the ability to make their own decisions. It was Harley's actions that ultimately decided on the fate of himself and his passenger. Yes it is a very tragic event, however it is not fair for Adem to have been handed such a severe sentence given that the accident was not a direct consequence of Adem's actions.
Adem's family is a not well off family. They were forced to use Legal Aid lawyers because they could not afford the lawyers Adem needed. The prosecution threw everything at this case to send a strong message to the community through Adem's case. Further, the Country Court Judge Frances Hogan who sat through the second trial, pardoned herself after shedding tears when she listened to a letter written by the father of Ivana Clonaridis, who was one of the victims. Adem never stood a chance. The legal system in Australia can be very merciless if you cannot afford a great lawyer.
Please donate to help fund Adem's appeal. The legal costs for the appeal process and the potential retrial is expected to exceed $150,000. We can't let Adem languish in prison for someone else's mistake.