Ross Blackmore sentenced over a 2020 crash that killed Ballarat mother Kylie Pope

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A 45-year-old man has been jailed for causing a 2020 crash that killed beloved Ballarat woman Kylie Pope.

Ms Pope was a passenger in an L-plate car with her son on the Colac-Ballarat Road near the town of Napoleons in October 2020 when the vehicle stopped during a U-turn.

Ross Blackmore crawled over a hill in his vehicle and hit the stopped car at 130 kilometers per hour.

He was driving at more than twice the speed limit.

The Enfield man had hashish and methylamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.

Earlier this month, the former concrete man pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable driving causing Ms Pope’s death.

Victim impact statements read in court spoke of the Pope family’s heartbreak.

Blackmore appeared in court via video link today and sat silently with his hands clasped.

Blame ‘high’

Melbourne County Court Judge Paul Lacava said he took into account that Ms Pope was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and that a U-turn should not have been taken on that road.

“But … your moral culpability in this case is high,” Judge Lacava said.

“The deceased’s partner’s life has almost been turned upside down.”

The Ballarat-born man was unemployed and looking after his mother at the time of the crash.

Judge Lacava said Blackmore was a long-term drug user and occasional drinker who now suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Judge Lacava said Blackmore would require ongoing mental health and drug treatment.

He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison – six months less than the standard sentence of eight years.

Judge Lacava said the sentence was necessary because of the “serious nature” of the offence.

Blackmore must serve five years before he will be eligible for parole.

He has already spent close to a year in custody.

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