COOLAC farmer Peter Clout on Friday pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning the deaths of Cootamundra couple Peter and Sandra Black.
The pleas were entered in Wagga District Court five days after a jury acquitted 61-year-old Clout of two counts of the more serious charge of dangerous driving occasioning death.
It was revealed in court by Clout’s barrister, Gabrielle Bashir SC, that her client had offered to plead guilty to the lesser charges three times before he went to trial last week.
Mr Black, 52, and Mrs Black, 47, died when a farm ute driven by Clout turned into the path of an oncoming motorcycle being ridden by the Blacks on Muttama Road on January 25, 2015.
“This was a momentary lapse of due care,” Ms Bashir told Judge Stephen Norrish.
Ms Bashir opened her submission by expressing on Clout’s behalf his sympathies to Mr and Mrs Black’s families.
She said Clout had expressed remorse from the outset and had wanted to say how sorry he was to the families, but had been advised against it.
Earlier, Mr Black’s sister, Julie, read to the court victim impact statements written by her brother Les, Mrs Black’s sister Debbie Roberts, Mr and Mrs Black’s daughter Mihkyla and Mrs Black’s mother Shirley Wood.
“My heart broke for my mum as she had lost her baby girl,” Mrs Roberts said.
Mihkyla spoke of the pain of not having her father walk her down the aisle or having her parents at the birth of her children.
Les Black wrote of Peter: “He was not just my brother, he was my father figure and best friend.”
Clout will be sentenced on Tuesday.