A truck driver who fatally struck a school teacher who ran out in front of him after he was allegedly tied to a chair and bashed with golf clubs was traumatised after the accident.
Tweed Heads Local Court heard Kael Luke Faulkner, 37, was devastated when he killed Brisbane teacher Anthony Stott on the Pacific Highway on February 10 2020.
The court was told that the driver now suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after seeing Mr Stott’s mangled body, and had only returned to normal duties in July.
Urine samples taken at the scene later revealed Faulkner had traces of marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.
But police at the scene and Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy both agreed the low levels were not enough to impact his driving ability or decision making skills.
Mr Stott landed in Brisbane from Sydney on February 9. He had recently returned from a holiday to Peru
Mr Stott sped down the Pacific Highway in his silver BMW before leaving the car in the middle of the road to walk to a farmhouse at Cudgera Creek
Faulkner’s lawyer Ian McKay told the court he had smoked the marijuana on the Saturday night prior to the crash as his client pleaded guilty to drug driving on Monday.
‘He was told by police there was nothing he could have done differently even if he wanted,’ Mr McKay said.
Faulkner was driving at the speed limit of 100km/h, completing his standard daily route from Ballina to Brisbane, when Mr Stott climbed a fence and rushed onto the highway directly in front of him.
The truck driver was moving too fast to stop, slow down or swerve away, and entered a state of shock immediately after hitting the teacher.
Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy handed Faulkner a two year Community Release Order and no conviction was recorded.
He accepted that the marijuana in his system played no part in the crash on the advice of Dr Judith Perl, a senior pharmacologist of NSW Police Force Impaired Driving Research Unit.
‘(This) is accepted by both parties as well as stated in a report from well-regarded scientist who confirms it is the case,’ Mr Dunlevy said.
Faulkner was driving at the speed limit of 100km/h, completing his standard daily route from Ballina to Brisbane, when Mr Stott climbed a fence and rushed onto the highway directly in front of him
Anthony Stott (pictured), who taught at St Peters Lutheran College in Brisbane, was fatally hit by a truck in northern New South Wales
‘After initial period of great shock and remorse on your part, you are rebuilding your life.’
Mr Stott, who taught at St Peters Lutheran College in Brisbane, was fatally hit less than 24 hours after stepping off a plane from Peru at Brisbane airport on February 9.
The 43-year-old well-respected French teacher appeared to talk to voices in his head and masturbate in his seat during the one-hour domestic Tigerair flight from Sydney, The Sunday Mail reported earlier this year.
Mr Stott sped down the Pacific Highway in his silver BMW hours later about 10.50pm before leaving the car in the middle of the road to walk to a farmhouse at Cudgera Creek.
Brisbane private school teacher Anthony Stott (pictured tied to a chair) was killed on February 10
A ‘spaced’ Mr Stott arrived at the home in ‘pitch-black’ conditions waving a carving knife, according to a police brief seen by the publication.
He was allegedly tied to a chair and brutally bashed with a golf club while held captive at the home in north-eastern New South Wales.
In a shocking photo shared to court, Mr Stott was shown sitting on a chair with a blank expression on his face and rope wrapped around his body.
Lauren Clair Grainger, 39, Mark Francis Frost, 46, and their friend Craig ‘Freddo’ Button were charged with detaining and assaulting Mr Stott with intent to obtain advantage after allegedly holding him captive and interrogating him at the farmhouse in Cudgera Creek.
Frost and Grainger told police Mr Stott broke into their home with a knife in the early hours of the morning at about 3.30am, court documents said.
Grainger alleged Mr Stott said he was going to Sydney and had been in their kitchen to steal money.
Button said he was falling asleep in his car after a night of drinking when he was advised of the intrusion.
‘Now he (Stott) wasn’t being overly aggressive but he had no shoes on, looked like an ice junkie,’ Button said.
Mr Stott had been holidaying in Peru before visiting his family in Sydney.
Mark Francis Frost, 46, (left) and Lauren Claire Grainger, 38, (right) have been charged with detaining with intent to obtain advantage
Mr Stott was a well-respected French teacher St Peters Lutheran College in Brisbane
His father Malcolm told police his son did not suffer from mental health problems but advised officers the teacher woke up shaking after a bad nightmare.
According to police documents, Malcolm asked his son if he was using drugs and Mr Stott said he wasn’t.
The teacher had told his father he intended to go to a yoga studio and have some dinner after arriving in Brisbane. It still remains a mystery as to why he happened upon the farmhouse.
Pictured: Mr Stott’s silver BMW which he abandoned on a highway in northern NSW
How a French teacher came to be killed on the side of a highway
WHO WAS ANTHONY STOTT?
The 43-year-old French teacher taught at St Peters Lutheran College at Springfield.
HOW DID HE DIE?
He was fatally hit by a semi-trailer while walking along the M1 at Cudgera Creek, south of Tweed Heads, on February 10.
Mr Stott flew into Brisbane from Sydney on February 9. He recently returned from a holiday to Peru.
WHO HAS BEEN CHARGED?
Mark Frost, Lauren Grainger, and Craig Button have been charged with detaining and assaulting Mr Stott with intent to obtain advantage.