L-plater likely to be jailed for deadly crash
A young learner driver is likely to be jailed after she drunkenly sped through an intersection and killed a beloved grandfather.
Alisha Fagan pleaded guilty to speeding through an intersection and failing to give way on June 9, 2022 when she crashed into a car near Sunshine in Melbourne.
The 22-year-old was driving drunk in an Audi with a suspended licence when she collided with the side of a Honda sedan and killed local grandfather Sedat Hassan.
The court previously heard she had been driving at “excessive speed” when she ploughed into Mr Hassan’s car, which was forcefully pushed 25m from the point of impact.
Fagan lied to police when they arrived, telling them she had not been driving, the court was told.
She gave officers a false name and tried to blame the deadly crash on four African males, who she claimed had fled the vehicle after the impact.
The court heard police subsequently searched her handbag and found the keys to the Audi, four xanax tablets and a kitchen knife.
On Monday, the County Court of Victoria heard it was highly likely Fagan would be jailed over the charges of dangerous driving occasioning death and drug possession.
“This really is a question of when Ms Fagan will return to custody,” Judge Scott Johns said.
He said sentencing principles and recent rulings pointed to a non-parole period of six months as an appropriate outcome for the 22-year-old.
While the Judge reminded the court he would never “pre-judge” the matter or “rule out” other sentencing options, he had a clear message for the learner driver and her family.
“Don’t hold out false hope,” he said.
Fagan was released on bail last year after 76 days behind bars on remand.
The court heard her driving record revealed “very concerning driving behaviours in the past”.
Only hours before the fatal crash which killed Mr Hassan, the court previously heard the learner driver had been drinking with a friend near the Maribyrnong River.
Judge Johns said Ms Fagan has shown “good progress” with her rehabilitation, but noted it was “still early days”.
He determined to delay her sentencing for three months until August.
Prosecutor Kristie Churchill opposed the adjournment, arguing further delays would cause undue distress to Mr Hassan’s grieving family.
“These proceedings are now at a third hearing of the plea … which in my submission is unfortunate,” she said.
“(The family’s) distress at having the matter prolonged would be self-evident.”
Judge Johns acknowledged the stress of the “prolonged process” but assured Mr Hassan’s family that justice would prevail.
“The enormity of the loss of the deceased (to his) family cannot be overstated,” he said.
“Deferral of sentence doesn’t mean that those concepts of accountability or giving weight to general deterrence and denunciation and just punishment are being displaced; they’re simply being deferred.”
Fagan will return to court to be sentenced for the fatal crash on August 18.