Road rage victim ... Kim Smith. Photo: Tara Ashworth
Shaun Patrick Chettleburgh, a self-confessed coward for driving his car at a woman and breaking her legs, told a judge yesterday he wished the incident had never happened.
“I think about it every day,” Chettleburgh said in the District Court at Albury.
“I am extremely sorry for what I did to her and put her family through.”
When he made that comment, victim Kim Smith said loudly: “Thank you”.
She then began crying and received support from her mother Patricia, the Border Mail reports.
Chettleburgh admitted after the incident in April last year he went home and cried through shame.
Earlier, Ms Smith's victim impact statement was read by her mother and for much of it, Chettleburgh kept his head bowed in the dock.
The statement described how the road rage incident left Ms Smith, 24, with two broken legs requiring steel rods.
There was an irony about the injuries inflicted on her because Chettleburgh suffered two broken legs in a car accident in 2002.
That left him suffering from severe depression and in the months before the incident, he consumed cannabis and excessive amounts of alcohol.
Chettleburgh, 29, appeared for sentencing submissions before Judge David Frearson after previously pleading guilty to aggravated break and enter in company and using an offensive weapon with intent to cause actual bodily harm.
The first charge involved Chettleburgh throwing a rock at another man's head after forcing open a caravan at the North Albury caravan park.
He was on bail for that offence when he committed the road rage incident on April 29 last year.
Chettleburgh accelerated harshly in his high-powered black car at a Lavington intersection about 4.50pm and Ms Smith shouted, saying he was “a f---ing hero”.
A short time later as she walked with a friend in Goolagar Crescent, Chettleburgh drove at them at 80km/h.
Ms Smith was flung over the car, smashing the windscreen and the other woman jumped out of the way.
Chettleburgh said he was restricted to a wheelchair for some time after breaking his legs in 2002.
His depression and anxiety increased after the accident. He drank up to two bottles of spirits daily and smoked cannabis before the two incidents.
Crown prosector Max Pincott asked Chettleburgh why he drove off after hitting Ms Smith.
“I thought I had killed someone,” he said.
His sentencing has been deferred by Judge Frearson.