The death of much-loved mum and wife Jo Duke in a traumatic 2019 head-on smash devastated her family
The grieving husband of a beloved mother killed in a wild head-on smash caused by an NRL star’s brother has fumed at his jail term after tensions spilled over inside the courtroom.
Troy Xerri, the 30-year-old stepbrother of ex-Cronulla Sharks centre Bronson, lost control of his Toyota Hilux, crossing onto the wrong side of the road and ploughing into Jo Duke’s Mazda in November, 2019 in Eastwood, Sydney’s northwest.
Michael Duke bravely spoke outside the Downing Centre District Court after the sentencing of Xerri, who could be released on parole in late 2023.
‘For his heinous crimes, the remorseless killer has had a paltry sentence imposed. Disgusting, absolutely disgusting,’ Mr Duke said.
‘Myself, our sons and many others are doomed to visit Jo in the cemetery forever. Whereas the killer will soon resume his life as if nothing happened.’
Troy Xerri, (left) the 30-year-old stepbrother of ex-Cronulla Sharks centre Bronson (right), lost control of his Toyota Hilux, jumping the median strip and ploughing into Jo Duke’s Mazda 2 in November, 2019 in Sydney’s northwest.
Troy Xerri lost control of his Toyota Hilux ute before he smashed into two other cars killing a mother (pictured, Xerri’s ute after the wild smash)
A member of Mrs Duke’s family yelled ‘You’re a coward, Xerri!’.
Mr Duke called for a review of sentencing laws.
He’d previously labelled Xerri a coward at an earlier court hearing after it was heard the 30-year-old failed to provide any assistance to his victim after the crash.
Family members carried framed photos of the beloved mother and wife, and urged Xerri to look at them, NCA Newswire reported.
One called out ‘see ya mate’ as Xerri was sentenced.
The court heard he was driving at least 80km/h – 20km/h above the speed limit and had claimed he was rushing to get home.
His actual speed was not agreed upon.
Michael Duke called the sentencing of Troy Xerri, who killed his wife Jo in a high speed head-on smash in 2019 ‘disgusting’ (pictured, Michael Duke and his family outside the Sydney court)
Judge Leonie Flannery said the traumatic manner of the beloved Mrs Duke’s death, had left some of her family suffering mental health disorders and unable to work (pictured, Michael and Jo Duke)
Judge Leonie Flannery said the traumatic manner of Ms Duke’s death had left some of her family suffering mental health disorders and unable to work.
‘Mrs Duke was a very special person and her death, and the manner of it has caused trauma for many people,’ she said.
He hit a second vehicle in the same accident, leaving a second woman driving alone in her car injured.
The woman, Edwina Roberts, was rushed to hospital after Xerri’s ute also smashed into her car but she survived.
Another man, Michael Nader who was in Xerri’s passenger seat spent a week in hospital with head and back injuries.
Xerri pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death and dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
But on more serious charges, aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death and aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, he was found not guilty.
Troy Xerri was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, with a two-year and four-month non-parole period. But with time served he could be released as early as next year.
The court also heard Xerri was imprisoned in 2012 for commercial drug supply and at the time of the 2019 accident was on a conditional release order for previously driving on a suspended licence
The latter charges related to allegations he was speeding more than 45km/h over the limit – which he denied.
While he faced up to 10 years in jail he received a 25 per cent discount on his sentence for his early guilty plea.
Xerri was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, with a two-year and four-month non-parole period. But with time served he could be released as early as next year.
The court also heard Xerri was imprisoned in 2012 for commercial drug supply and at the time of the 2019 accident was on a conditional release order for previously driving on a suspended licence.
Xerri’s brother Bronson had been banned from playing professional sports until 2024 after testing positive for steroids while playing for the Sharks in 2020.
Bronson Xerri is banned from the NRL until 2024 after testing positive to steroids in May 2020