November 30, 2021
QUEENSLAND, Australia—An unlicensed driver who deliberately ran down a cyclist, leaving him to die beside a rural Queensland highway, has finally been sentenced to prison time, according to The Guardian.
Joanne Marie McAuley was enraged when 26-year-old Shui Ki Chan flipped her off on the Warrego Highway near Gatton about 7:30 p.m. on August 23, 2012.
McAuley took two separate highway exits to hunt down the Hong Kong national as he rode home from his shift at a nearby restaurant, reports The Guardian.
At the time, McAuley claimed she only intended to “scare” Chan but couldn’t control the vehicle and she “accidentally” smashed into Chan; fracturing his pelvis after being thrown onto the grass verge.
Chan succumbed to the “injuries or the elements” before his body was eventually discovered the next morning. No doubt he suffered tremendously.
When an autopsy was performed, the cause of death was not determined because of blood loss, shock, and hypothermia identified as factors, according to The Guardian.
During a renewed investigation, authorities specifically stated an “inadequate police investigation” was conducted at the time, which allowed McAuley to escape justice before she was finally charged in June 2021.
“Police were enlisted immediately, and right from the outset, the investigation was in my words ‘less fulsome’, or in the words of the coroner ‘inadequate’,” prosecutor Clayton Wallis stated.
In the almost 10 years since the murder, McAuley bragged to multiple people including friends, family, and associates about killing Chan.
McAuley told multiple versions of her story, which she “tailored to her audience.” She claimed to have run down Chan because he was Asian and had reversed over his body multiple times, reports The Guardian.
“The defendant made racial slurs and remarks about the man she had struck,” Wallis said.
“The defendant’s conduct is reprehensible. She engaged in protracted and deliberate road rage. She had time for her anger to cool … she was not affected by alcohol, drugs, or mental illness. It was deliberated, calculated anger.”
After weeks of legal negotiations, McAuley pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the Brisbane supreme court on Monday, according to The Guardian.
In sentencing, Justice David Boddice savaged McAuley’s “disgraceful behavior”.
“Because of sheer rage and nothing else you caused the death of a 26-year-old male who was simply riding a bicycle home from work,” he said.
“You deliberately drove your vehicle, which you were incapable of controlling, so close to the deceased that it was inherently likely that he would be struck.
“Your behavior on the night evidenced a complete disregard for human life. Your behavior in the days following and in the ensuing years showed your complete lack of remorse.”
McAuley collapsed and wailed “No!” as she was sentenced to serve 10 years in jail and declared a serious and violent offender.
She refused to leave the dock, reaching out to sobbing supporters in the gallery before being taken by prison officers from the court. The 49-year-old will be eligible for parole in July 2026.
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