A 10-year-old child suffered devastating injuries after colliding with a man on a powerful electric bike while riding on a footpath.
Matthew James Green, 47, was found guilty late last year of causing the child grievous bodily harm by negligent act or omission. On May 11, 2017, he was riding his Stealth B-52 electric bicycle at about 40 to 50km/h on a path near Fadden Primary School. Around that time a 10-year-old student was riding his BMX bike along the path, making circuits of the area.
Green was travelling downhill on the 52 kilogram bike along the path when he collided with the child.
The impact buckled the front wheel of the child's bike, and Green's dirt-bike helmet collided with the head of the child, who was not wearing a helmet. The child was thrown from his bike unconscious and landed on the ground several metres away, lying face down with bleeding around the face and nose.
An ambulance took him to Canberra Hospital where scans showed several hemorrhages and extensive skull fractures. He was shortly taken to the Children's Hospital at Westmead.
The child was unconscious for five days and suffered a severe brain injury. He did not return to school until five months after the accident and then only gradually a few days a week. Doctors cannot say the overall prognosis for his cognitive function until he is 18 to 25 years old because his brain is still developing.
"Although still young, [the child] recognises that his injuries differentiate his position in life from those of his peers," Justice David Mossop said in a decision published Wednesday.
"He is clearly concerned about the future."
Green was also found guilty of driving on a path, driving while disqualified, and using an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. The Stealth B-52, with a maximum power output of 1961W, is not a bicycle under the road rules but a vehicle propelled by a motor.
He is a carpenter by trade, but had abused drugs for years and suffered abuse as a child. Mental health professionals described Green as "seriously psychologically unwell" and a "sad man living an empty life was was emotional[ly] wrecked and lost".
Justice Mossop jailed Green for 20 months and set a non-parole term of 10 months. He will be eligible for release in December.