Allanah Walker with messages of love posted on her Instagram
Allanah Walker with messages of love posted on her Instagram

Lloyd Burr: How much is a life worth?

Lloyd Burr 09/12/2021

OPINION: How much is a life worth? 

And how much punishment should you get for recklessly taking someone else’s life? 

The reason I ask is because a woman in Queenstown has just been sentenced to 4 and a half months home detention after killing someone. 

Just 4 and a half months. At home. 

That’s what Auckland’s just been through during the lockdown. 

So what happened? 

Tully Robinson was drunk behind the wheel of her car in August last year, she was posting on Facebook and texting while driving, she was speeding, and was on the wrong side of the road. 

She then collided head on with another vehicle. 

In that vehicle was local teenager Allanah Walker - who was killed - and her boyfriend Astin Caldwell who fractured his spine and suffered other injuries. 

He’s since been abusing drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism, and his mental health has taken a hit too. 

Allanah’s death, as you can imagine, has had a brutal impact on her family. Her parents and grandparents and brother continue to be devastated by her death. 

Robinson’s sentencing was yesterday - and her sentence was reduced from 17 months’ prison to 4.5 months home detention because of an early guilty plea, good behaviour, her youth, her remorse, and willingness to engage in restorative justice. 

She’s also been banned from driving for 18 months and has to pay reparation of $35,000. 

One life gone, another life severely impacted, and a family in tatters - and the penalty is 4.5 months home detention, a $35k fine and an 18 month driving ban. 

Now I’m not a lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key kind of guy, but to me, this sentence seems way out of whack. 

So has justice been served? 

Is this fair? 

Again, I ask - how much is a life worth?

Catch Lloyd Burr Live every weekday from 4pm on Magic Talk.