Where's dad? 18 months' jail for drag-race death
A Sri Lankan man who killed another driver when allegedly drag racing has today been jailed for at least 18 months.
Shyam Jayasinghe, 28, was driving at up to 50 kilometres over the speed limit on the Princes Highway in Dandenong before crashing into a car driven driven by Afghan refugee and father-of-one Hamedjan Hussaini.
Mr Hussaini, 32, had been on his way home from work about 7.45pm and was turning right when Jayasinghe slammed into him.
Jayasinghe pleaded guilty in the County Court to one charge of dangerous driving causing death.
Judge Christine Thornton said witnesses claimed Jayasinghe was driving at high speed next to a red Ford up a hill at speeds of between 100km/h to 110km/h on Tuesday night, March 13 last year.
The speed limit on that section of the Princes Highway is 60km/h.
Both drivers could not see what was in front of them when they reached the top of the hill.
When Jayasinghe was arrested after the crash, police claimed he had been involved in drag racing.
The judge said Jayasinghe’s actions had been deliberate conduct with the potential to endanger others.
It was not a case of momentary inattention where the moral culpability was low.
Judge Thornton said Mr Hussaini’s death had had a life changing impact on his wife, 24, and five-year-old son.
Mr Hussaini had met his wife at a refugee camp in Pakistan in 2004 after both had fled the war in Afghanistan and they married a year later.
The judge said Mr Hussaini came to Australia in 2008 and his wife followed two years later.
Mr Hussaini worked seven days a week as a renderer and loved his family very much, Judge Thornton said.
His wife was still grieving his death and his son continues to ask when his father is coming home.
They now live in a small apartment and struggle to get by financially on a pension.
The judge said their emotional loss was immeasurable.
‘‘No sentencing disposition will assuage their grief,’’ she said.
Judge Thornton said Jayasinghe was born in England but went to live with his parents in Sri Lanka when he was 3. He came to Australia in 2008.
Jayasinghe had a masters degree in international business from Monash University and was working as a sales representative driving up to 500 kilometres a week for his job before the accident.
Judge Thornton said Jayasinghe was genuinely remorseful for what he had done and now suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
He had since set up a Facebook page to promote road safety.
Jayasinghe was jailed for a total of three years with a non-parole period of 18 months and disqualified from driving for two years.