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Man jailed for 13 years for fatal hit and run

A man driving a stolen car who killed one woman and injured another in a horrific hit-and-run outside Canberra Hospital has been jailed for almost 13 years.

Justin Lee Monfries, 25, faced the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday for the death of Linda Cox in May last year. The 38-year-old mother of two was killed instantly when a stolen car, driven by Monfries, ran a red light and mowed down her and a co-worker as they crossed the road after finishing a shift at the hospital.

Ashlee Bumpus, then 25, suffered multiple fractures to her legs and spent almost three months in a wheelchair as a result of the crash.

Monfries kept driving, but crashed about 150 metres down the road and was arrested by police. The Kambah man pleaded guilty to culpable driving causing death, culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm and car theft. The court was also asked to take into account four minor traffic infringements related to the incident and to resentence Monfries over a suspended sentence for fraud.

Justice John Nield jailed Monfries for 10 years and nine months for killing Mrs Cox, five years and four months for injuring Ms Bumpus and two years and eight months for car theft, backdated to take into account time spent in custody.

The judge ordered some of the jail time to be served concurrently, with the total sentence adding up to 12 years and seven months.


He will be eligible for parole in January 2022.

Justice Nield described the effects on Ms Bumpus and the Cox family as "catastrophic" but gave the defendant a 10 per cent discount on the sentence for his guilty plea.

"Frankly, I think the guilty plea had more to do with the strength of the Crown case," Justice Nield said.

The judge noted a guilty plea was not necessarily a sign of remorse and Monfries appeared more sorry for himself than for the harm he had caused Ms Bumpus and the Cox family.

"I think it's fair to say the offender has learnt nothing from his earlier

offending and the penalties imposed," Justice Nield said.

The defendant sat with his head bowed as the punishment was read out.

Friends and family of both victims were in court on Tuesday, and Mrs Cox's husband Jamie jeered at Monfries to "rot you b-----'' as he was led away in handcuffs.

Ms Bumpus and Mrs Cox's family quietly left the court complex via a backdoor to avoid speaking with the media after Tuesday's sentence.

Ms Bumpus declined to comment when contacted by Fairfax Media.

Both Ms Bumpus and Mr Cox read victim impact statements to an ACT Supreme Court sentencing hearing earlier this month.

Ms Bumpus described her painful recovery, which included almost three months in a wheelchair and four operations.

The former A-grade netballer told the packed courtroom she pleaded with surgeons to amputate her leg after one procedure left her with excruciating nerve pain.

She said she suffers from survivors' guilt, had trouble crossing the road and endures nightmares. Mr Cox said he felt enormous hatred for Monfries and wanted justice for his wife and two sons.

He said the tragic loss had propelled him into a private hell where he had lost interest in life and at times struggled to put "one foot in front of the other".

The court heard that Monfries had a lengthy criminal history, with more than 40 convictions in ACT and NSW courts. Some of that history included car theft and leading police on high-speed pursuits.

He had been serving a suspended sentence for trying to pass forged cheques at the time of the fatal accident.

Monfries had alcohol, cannabis and anti-depressants in his system on the day of the hit-and-run.

The court heard he had been stranded in Manuka after shopping with his girlfriend and decided to steal a Toyota Camry from an underground car park to get home.

The defendant was involved in an accident in Hughes before fleeing a police car, reaching speeds of 118km/h in a 60km/h zone.

The defendant claimed he then ''blacked out'' and had no memory of the fatal accident.