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Melbourne driver jailed for killing Lankan refugee

A Melbourne driver who killed a Sri Lankan refugee when he sped through a pedestrian crossing has been jailed for eight years.

Jarratt Keith Swan, 31, of Ferntree Gully, was unlicensed and had a horrendous driving history when he slammed into Thiruvadivel Sriskantharajah on Stud Road, Dandenong, in January 2009.

Mr Sriskantharajah was thrown 27 metres.

Swan, a father-of-two, was sleep-deprived and had injected heroin before the crash.

He did not stop after the accident.

A jury found Swan guilty of culpable driving while he pleaded guilty to charges of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and unlicensed driving.

Victorian County Court judge Gabriele Cannon during sentencing today said Swan’s testimony that he returned to the scene after the accident was clearly false.

She said it was clear Swan did not stop until hours after the accident.

“You placed your needs above those of the pedestrian you had just struck and left him for dead, quite literally,” Judge Cannon said.

She jailed Swan for eight years and ordered he serve six years before being eligible for parole.

He has served 535 days pre-sentence detention.

Judge Cannon also disqualified him from driving for seven years.

Swan has numerous prior convictions for driving whilst suspended and disqualified, AAP reports.



Posted on Friday, March 04, 2011 @ 15:41:19 LKT


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