Jail time announced for daycare driver after death of boy, 3
FORMER daycare centre director Michael Glenn Lewis will serve at least the next 18 months behind bars for leaving a three-year-old boy on a Cairns daycare bus for almost six hours.
The 46-year-old Canadian native pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Cairns Supreme Court on Monday, just over a year after the body of Maliq Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo was found on the minibus belonging to the Edmonton Goodstart Early Learning Centre.
Justice Jim Henry handed him a six-year jail sentence on Wednesday after considering his decision overnight.
Lewis, who has no criminal history, will be eligible for parole in August next year.
Maliq - known by his family as Meeky - had been attending the daycare for eight months prior to the tragedy on February 18 last year.
His mother Muriel Namok was among a large contingent of family and supporters who packed the public gallery to hear Justice Henry hand down the sentence.
Lewis' charge was due to his breach of his duty of care and criminal negligence.
Justice Henry described Lewis as an "improbable offender" but for whose actions caused "unfathomable grief" to the boy's family.
"There is no sentence which this court can impose which can undo the catastrophic consequences," he said.
"The degree of criminal negligence involved here would concern any member of the community, particularly those who have children in daycare.
"Had you complied with (your) obligations … Maliq would not have died."
But Justice Henry said his decision was "tempered" by the fact the death occurred an "organisational corporate failure" which left the centre understaffed and struggling to cover the morning child collection run.
Originally published as How long daycare bus driver will spend in jail after death of boy, 3