Push for tougher laws after allegedly speeding teenager kills pregnant woman in Hobart.

Sarah Paino, 24, died at the scene when the car she was travelling in was hit by an allegedly stolen car in central Hobart.

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with manslaughter.

Ms Paino was 32 weeks pregnant and her baby was later delivered at the Royal Hobart Hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

There has been an outpouring of community support for the woman’s children and her partner, Daniel Stirling, who attended a vigil in Hobart on Saturday night.

Former Tasmanian policeman Phil Pyke said in Tasmania motor vehicle theft came under the Police Offences Act.

He argues it should be dealt with under the criminal code.

“It’s no deterrent at all with it remaining under the Police Offences Act,” he said.

“Over my time in Tasmania Police I’ve dealt with a young fella who had 43 charges of motor vehicle stealing and the very fact that it still continues to be a problem means that there is no deterrent.”

Mr Pyke believes not changing the law is putting the public at risk.

“We will still continue to see young people, multiple charges of motor vehicle stealing, no deterrent, the public will still continue to be at risk,” he said.

It is a call echoed by the president of the Police Association, Pat Allen, who said the current laws were soft.

“There doesn’t seem to be too many consequences at all, some sad events can happen rising out of motor vehicle accidents as we all know now,” he said.

But Evan Hughes from the Law Society said changing the law would cause problems.


“There can be for example an increase in the number of people who are then waiting to have their cases heard in the Supreme Court, an increase in the burden on the resources of the Supreme Court, the DPP, the legal aid commission,” he said.

“Increasing penalties, toughening sentences, these options are perhaps the easier options the look at, the tougher options are looking at the reasons why crimes are committed.”

Calls for more road spikes

Police did not engage in a high-speed chase with the allegedly stolen car, as is their policy.

Mr Allen said his members wanted more road spike resources.

“They want more road spikes out there and they want the judiciary to really sit up and take notice of what’s occurred here,” he said.

“There’s got to be better alternate resolution techniques put in place, there’s definitely not enough of those road spikes out there for everyone to operate properly.”

Mr Allen said more needed to be done to stop vehicle thefts.

“There’s a lot of anger in the community at the moment and that’s going to start to come out and we are going to have to sit down and seriously to stop this sort of disease that’s occurring,” he said.

“I think there are, amongst some sections of society, they have no conscience, they don’t care, they simply don’t care.”

A spokesman for the Government said it was constantly reviewing the law to ensure it reflected community standards.

“We do note that in this case the individual has been charged with manslaughter, which is a very serious offence.”

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