Dad confronts 'coward' killer
Part way through reading a victim impact's statement, Justin Wright screwed up his piece of paper in the District Court in Sydney. He turned to the man sitting in the dock.
''You are a coward,'' said Mr Wright, wearing a T-shirt reading ''Justice For Skye''.
''You took my daughter's life away. She died in my arms. She was so scared, but she didn't shed one tear. You did not bring a tear to my daughter's eye.''
At his sentencing hearing yesterday, William Ngati, 29, of Claymore, kept his head lowered. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year over the death of 19-month-old Skye Sassine about 6.55pm on New Year's Eve 2009.
Ngati collided with the Sassines' Subaru on the M5 motorway at Ingleburn. Skye, who had been strapped into a baby seat in the back of the car, was pronounced dead on arrival at Liverpool Hospital.
The court heard Ngati and another man had robbed two bottle shops in Peakhurst and East Hills, in the hour before leading police on a high-speed pursuit for 21 kilometres.
Skye's mother Aimee Sassine sobbed as she said her life was destroyed when her first-born child was killed.
''Details of that night will never leave me,'' Mrs Sassine, who was heavily pregnant with her second child at the time of the crash, said.
''My beautiful baby girl was ripped from my side recklessly and without warning.''
Mrs Sassine said she continued to have nightmares and could not drive far without panicking. She did not allow her infant son to be in a car driven by anyone else.
She would never get to experience her daughter's first day at school, go dress shopping for her formal, or watch her walking down the aisle, she said.
''But most of all I will never have memories of Skye first meeting her little brother … one of the things I looked forward to since finding out she was going to be a big sister.''
The court watched a video taken by Polair of the police pursuit along the Hume Highway.
After the white minivan Ngati was driving hit the rear of the family's Subaru, Ngati is seen leaving the car and running across the highway. He then tried to hijack another car, which had a family in it, before being arrested at gunpoint.
Judge David Frearson was told a psychologist would give evidence today about Ngati's intellectual disability.
Following Skye's death, the state government introduced ''Skye's law'', which provided penalties for those who deliberately try to avoid arrest by commencing high-speed police chases.
Under the law, drivers face up to three years in jail if convicted of evading police and up to five years if they reoffend.