The mother of young woman killed on her birthday when a drunk soldier ran his motorbike off the road at high speed has admitted she was shocked he was sent to prison.
Giles Nelson Graham, 24, had been drinking before he took Carli Rustand on a motorcycle ride on her 24th birthday, and the pair hurtled along Riverside Drive at speeds between 81km/h and 116km/h.
Graham, who served two tours in Afghanistan with the Australian army after being fast-tracked to the Duntroon Academy aged just 19, recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.107 after the crash on March 4 last year, which also left him severely injured.
He was originally charged with reckless driving, but after a public outcry was eventually accused of dangerous driving in circumstances which resulted in a death and driving with a blood alcohol content above 0.08.
He pleaded guilty last November.
After seeing Graham sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday, Carli's mother Terri said the immediate jail sentence, which had not been called for by prosecutors, was a testimony to the devastating effect her daughter's death had on her family and many friends.
"Our girl didn't die in vain, it was not a non-event and it was not an accident," Mrs Rustand said.
"Giles is going to jail for 15 months - he will have to live with it forever, but at least he gets to live. We will never have our daughter back, she will never have a wedding.
"It is a surprising outcome, it is not something we wanted or expected, but I hope this will deter anyone else from taking a stupid risk.
"There are no winners."
Perth Magistrates Court was told Graham had been involved in 15 major firefights in Afghanistan, during which three Australian soldiers and one American serviceman died.
He was a commander of a protective mobility vehicle in the war zone in his final tour of duty, the court was told.
He was on "decompression" leave at the time of the accident, which happened on the first night the pair had met.
After a Chinese meal, followed by several hours at a karaoke bar, the pair carried on the party at South Perth with friends, where they set off on the Harley-Davidson.
Graham suffered three neck fractures, three spinal fractures, three cranial fractures and bleeding on the brain which prompted doctors to place him in an induced coma.
He is now facing an involuntary discharge from the army, where his superiors had previously singled him out for his leadership qualities.
Mrs Rustand said they realised Graham was not a bad person, but had made a very bad decision.
"We don't think he went out to murder her that night, it was just he made a stupid mistake," Mrs Rustand said.
"He was just showing off ... and the punishment fits what he did."
Graham will be eligible for parole later this year.