A HEAVILY intoxicated woman who caused the drowning death of a four-year-old girl when she capsized a kayak they were fishing from off Mallabula Point in 2021 will not spend any additional time behind bars after a decision by the state's highest court on Wednesday.
But Eaton had in the early hours of that morning consumed a large amount of alcohol and at some point between 1.36pm and 1.58pm was trying to navigate back to shore when the kayak overturned.
The young girl tragically drowned, while Eaton managed to swim to shore.
They were not wearing life jackets, despite the safety equipment being mandatory for anyone in a kayak.
Eaton would later record a blood alcohol reading of 0.250, five times the legal blood alcohol limit.
A forensic pharmacologist later opined that if Eaton's story about not drinking any more alcohol after the early hours of June 1 were true then at the time the kayak overturned she would have had a blood alcohol reading of at least 0.297.
Eaton was in December jailed for a maximum of 30 months, with a non-parole period of 18 months.
The sentence outraged Vogue's family, who said it was "unacceptable" and urged prosecutors to appeal.
Eaton's sentence had been reduced in Newcastle District Court in December after Judge Peter McGrath found her alcoholism was linked to her deprived upbringing and mental health diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
She was given a 25 per cent discount for pleading guilty to one count of aggravated culpable navigation causing death, which carries a maximum jail term of 14 years.
During the inadequacy appeal, Crown prosecutor Monica Millward argued Judge McGrath incorrectly used Eaton's personal circumstances to reduce her jail-term.
"We say that the sentence imposed... was manifestly inadequate to a considerable degree," Ms Millward told a panel of three appeals judges.
Eaton had a "very high level of moral culpability" in circumstances where she was drunk and took a young girl who could not swim on an overloaded vessel without offering her a life-jacket, Ms Millward said.
She was initially asked to take the girl on the kayak by a group she knew and paddled near the group as they mingled at Mallabula Point.
However, when everyone went for lunch, Eaton then travelled 900 metres from the jetty, out of sight of everyone, when the capsizing occurred.
She had been convicted of high-range drink driving and placed on a 10-month intensive correction only order four months before the tragedy at Mallabula Point.
Public Defender Peter Krisenthal had submitted Judge McGrath imposed the 30-month sentence on a "principled and appropriate basis" and was allowed to reduce it because of his client's background and mental health.
"His Honour accepted that alcohol being at the root of this offending, that the mental health problems and the deprived background had some contribution to that," he said.
And on Wednesday, the CCA delivered it's judgment, dismissing the appeal and confirming the sentence Eaton received in Newcastle District Court.
The decision means Eaton will be eligible for parole in June, 2024.
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