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Christopher Browne likely to avoid jail over the death of his son Lincoln in an ATV accident

A father who killed his own son when his all-terrain vehicle rolled over while he was doing a burnout is likely to avoid jail time — as prosecutors call for “substantial” community service.

Christopher Browne, 33, had his two-year-old son Lincoln on his lap and his adult sister in the passenger seat while driving the buggy on Christmas Day 2020 at his estate in Barnawartha North, near the NSW-Victorian border.

Browne tried one last donut in the ATV when his sudden turn caused the vehicle to roll.

Lincoln was thrown from the carriage and then crushed by the ATV’s roll bars, a mechanism designed to prevent the vehicle from crushing its passengers.

The toddler was freed by witnesses, who performed CPR but were unable to resuscitate him, with Lincoln dying of his injuries shortly after.

No one in the buggy was wearing seat belts and it was overloaded with three passengers – Browne’s father and son and sister – instead of two.

Mourning his little boy, the then 31-year-old, was charged with the death.

He now appears to be avoiding jail time for his dangerous actions, but could face a hefty community service order to complete over several years.

Two-year-old Lincoln Browne was killed after falling from an ATV on an estate in Barnawartha North near the Victoria-New South Wales border on Christmas Day 2020

Two-year-old Lincoln Browne was killed after falling from an ATV on an estate in Barnawartha North near the Victoria-New South Wales border on Christmas Day 2020

Judge Michael Cahill found his moral guilt for the incident high and the offense was in the middle of the seriousness of the offense, but he said the consequences of Lincoln’s death penalty were enough for Browne.

Prosecutors demanded jail time for Browne, who has another child.

In a similar case mentioned in court, another father was sentenced to more than three years behind bars and an appeal was dismissed on the grounds of apparent excessiveness.

But Judge Cahill told prosecutors on Thursday he would have Browne assessed for a warrant, with a plan to put him on a warrant rather than send him to jail.

Police pictured on the scene on the private property on Moss Road, Barnawartha North on Christmas Day 2020

Police pictured on the scene on the private property on Moss Road, Barnawartha North on Christmas Day 2020

“He has had severe symptoms of PTSD as a result of causing his son’s death,” the judge said.

His lawyers argued that this would make the prison considerably more difficult.

Browne, who appeared via a video link from the court in Wodonga, seemed overwhelmed at times, the judge noted.

“Sometimes the only thing that keeps him going is his responsibility to take care of his wife and their younger child,” Judge Cahill said.

But he acknowledged serious aggravating features of the violation, including disregarding seat belts and exceeding the passenger limit.

“I believe, in this case, that a community correction order is the appropriate punishment for Mr Browne,” Judge Cahill said, according to the statement. Herald Sun.

“Living with the loss of his child is a harsher sentence than any court can impose.”

Browne’s attorney Tom Danos said the independent builder still managed to run his own business, but found it a struggle.

He also helps his wife run a wedding reception business on their property and runs a furniture workshop in Wodonga, while assisting his brother-in-law with computer work for his plumbing business.

Imprisonment would affect those companies and their employees, he said.

Browne has also contributed to the local football club, both financially and as a coach of an under-12 team, Danos said, highlighting his client’s contributions to his community.

He has sold the buggy and has no intention of replacing it.

Prosecutor Erin Ramsay said it was unusual for a case of high moral culpability to lead to a correction order and that there should be a significant period of unpaid community work.

Browne will be sentenced on August 11.

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