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Drunk learner driver who killed 15-year-old schoolgirl walks free after less than two years in jail

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A learner driver who killed a 15-year-old passenger after a horror drunken smash has been released on parole.

Jade Jaye Sward’s car flipped and smashed into a power pole after he lost control while driving in Old Beach, north of Hobart, Tasmania in July 2017.

The 23-year-old had been drinking for 15 hours before the crash, which killed schoolgirl Brianna Waddington.

Hobart schoolgirl Brianna Waddington died after Jade Jaye Sward's car flipped and smashed into a power pole in Old Beach, north of Hobart, Tasmania in July 2017

Hobart schoolgirl Brianna Waddington died after Jade Jaye Sward’s car flipped and smashed into a power pole in Old Beach, north of Hobart, Tasmania in July 2017

Sward was released on parole on June 20 after serving one year and nine months of his three-and-a-half year sentence.

The Parole Board of Tasmania said the Gagebrook man had taken responsibility for his actions and was working towards rehabilitation, The Mercury reported.

‘The impact of the applicant’s behaviour on the family of the young victim is significant and the loss of a young life is a devastating event the family are unlikely to ever recover from fully,’ the board said.

‘However, in balancing all factors, the board is of the view the applicant demonstrates good prospects for rehabilitation and a willingness to acknowledge and take responsibility for the impact of his offending.’

Ms Waddington died from blunt force trauma in the crash while Sward was treated for minor injuries

Ms Waddington died from blunt force trauma in the crash while Sward was treated for minor injuries

Sward had been a model prisoner with no internal offences with staff noting his strong work ethic in the many jobs he undertook during his sentence. 

His parole conditions include undertaking regular drug and alcohol counselling and therapy services.

Ms Waddington died from blunt force trauma in the smash, while Sward and a 17-year-old male passenger escaped with minor injuries.

She was remembered by her family as ‘beautiful’ and ‘kind-hearted’.

Ms Waddington was remembered by her family as 'beautiful' and 'kind-hearted'

 Ms Waddington was remembered by her family as ‘beautiful’ and ‘kind-hearted’

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