Collard to spend decade behind bars following Mandurah taxi driver’s death

The man whose murder conviction for the death of a Mandurah taxi driver was overturned on appeal last year has been sentenced to serve a total of 12 years after pleading guilty to his manslaughter.

Grant Lindon Collard took Lindsay Ferguson hostage at knifepoint on April 24, 2013, and forced Mr Ferguson to drive him around Mandurah in his taxi for about an hour before Mr Ferguson suffered a heart attack and died.

Collard also took two women hostage at a Mandurah business before police arrested him.

Collard pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in December and faced sentencing in the Supreme Court by Justice Stephen Hall on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo said Collard had terrorised Mr Ferguson by shouting at him and stabbing the seats of the taxi with a knife during many minutes of “continued and sustained threats and aggression”.

Grant Lindon Collard is already serving sentences for the kidnapping of Lindsay Ferguson and Debbie Tippett, who attended court for the sentencing.

Collard’s defence lawyer Simon Freitag said Collard admitted he had caused Mr Ferguson’s death but had not shown remorse, because of a pre-existing mental illness, and felt “hard-done-by by the process”.

But Mr Freitag said Collard accepted the facts of the manslaughter charge.

“Erratic is a gross understatement, terrifying is an appropriate description,” he said when describing Collard’s conduct.

Justice Hall said Collard had made a number of admissions to police acknowledging he had caused Mr Ferguson’s heart attack.

He said Collard’s psychiatric disorder could not reduce his sentence because he refused to take his medication and knew the use of illicit drugs made it worse.

Justice Hall said victim impact statements provided by Mr Ferguson’s wife and step-daughter were “moving and poignant”.

“Mr Ferguson was a quiet, peacable man who did nothing to provoke this behaviour,” he said.

“He was not simply the victim or the deceased, he was a man who was well-loved by his family.”

Collard is already serving sentences for the kidnapping of Mr Ferguson and Debbie Tippett, who attended court for the sentencing.

Ms Tippet said she was angry Collard’s original 17-year sentence for murder had been reduced to the 12 years he would serve for manslaughter.

“It sickens me, it really sickens me that he can do this act, put a knife to my throat, say ‘somebody’s going to give me a lift or somebody’s going to die’,” she said.

“Grant Collard didn't care who lived, died, or anything in between as long as he got his own way.”

She said she was still traumatised.

“You go anywhere, you're looking over your shoulder all the time. It was random, he just walked in.”

Justice Hall sentenced Collard to nine years for the manslaughter, making his total sentence 12 years.

He will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years.