Vickie Lee Roach: Legal Case Study

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Former delinquent takes on Government and wins Vickie Lee Roach receives her degree. August 31, 2007 The champion of prisoners ' rights had an unlikely path to High Court victory, writes Karen Kissane. VICKIE Lee Roach was taken from her mother when she was two and thinks of herself as a member of the stolen generation. She is in jail because she left a young man with burns to 45 per cent of his body after she smashed into his car while trying to escape police. At the time, she had alcohol, four kinds of tranquillisers, morphine and a cannabis-related substance in her blood. She is now not only educated but politically aware. Roach yesterday won a landmark decision supporting Australians ' right to vote, when the High Court accepted her…show more content…
According to that document, she was raised by foster parents and, after leaving them, became "delinquent" and addicted to drugs. Between 1976 and 2003, she had 125 convictions or findings of guilt from 23 court appearances. She formed a series of damaging relationships with men and at the time of the accident was with a man who was violent towards her. The offences that led to her jailing occurred on December 14, 2002. Roach and her then partner were disturbed robbing a Mordialloc milk bar at 3.45am. They stashed stolen goods in the boot of her partner 's car and fled, with Roach as driver, at speeds of up to 130 km/h. Neither was licensed. Roach later said that she had wanted to pull over as soon as she saw police in pursuit but did not do so because the man with her threatened to kill her. He kept urging her to drive faster. She struck a stationary car at traffic lights and both cars burst into flames. The 21-year-old man in the other car was burned on his scalp, face, ears, back, arms, knees and internally to his airway. He needed several operations, extensive skin grafts and the insertion of wires in his fingers. "He has been scarred externally and emotionally for life," wrote Victorian justices Ormiston, Charles and
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