Manslaughter admission

CRIME SCENE: Strike Force Cowriga police examine the area around the vehicle following Mr Hoyt’s death. Photo: Samantha MacheeA WOMAN has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a man killed when she was behind the wheel of a car in Moree.

Jacklyn Diane Lees was due to stand trial this week in Moree District Court on several charges including manslaughter and dangerous driving causing death.

But on the day after the trial was due to begin, Lees pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter.

Charges of contravening an apprehended domestic violence order (AVO), negligent driving occasioning death and driving a vehicle with an illicit drug in her bloodstream have been adjourned for mention in May, while the charge of dangerous driving occasioning death was also adjourned.

Judge Nicole Noman adjourned the case for sentencing in May.

Lees made no application for bail and it was formally refused.

Lees was behind the wheel of a vehicle which struck and dragged 44-year-old WayneHoyt in Oak St, Moree, on the morning of October 20, 2015.

He was rescued from underneath the Kia four-wheel drive by police and paramedics, and rushed to Moree hospital, but he died shortly after.

Police claimedthe incident was domestic-related.

Guilty plea: Barwon detectives at the crime scene in Oak St, Moree, in October, 2015. Jacklyn Lees has admitted to the manslaughter of Wayne Hoyt. Photo: Samantha Manchee

Strike Force Cowriga was set up by Barwon detectives in the wake of Mr Hoyt’s death and Lees was initially charged with two offences and refused bail.

Lees has been behind bars since the incident and failed in her bid for bail in October, 2015, when the court was told she was on two good behaviour bonds at the time.

During the bail application, a solicitor for the DPP argued the case against Lees was strong and told the court they had obtained a report prepared by police which claimed there were acceleration marks but no indication of brakemarks on the road.

She saida witness had allegedly seen Lees arguing with Mr Hoyt over a period of time before the incident.

During the bail application, the prosecutor said a witness was alleged to have heard Mr Hoyt say “I’m sick of you trying to run me over. I’m going to the cops”.

Meanwhile, Barwon police will apply to have a man extradited from Queensland accused of pointing a gun at officers at Boggabilla, near Moree, last week.

Police allege he produced a rifle during a pursuit on the Bruxner Highway in the early hours of February 21.

Following investigations, Barwon officers helped to arrest a 59-year-old man after a pursuit in Goondiwindi on February 22.

He is facing a raft of charges includingdangerous operation of a vehicle, serious assault police whilst armed, fail to stop motor vehicle and driving without a licence in Queensland and remains in custody.

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