Fatal crash driver jailed

Emma Kent at an earlier court hearing. Pic: The Age

By Jessica Micallef

A young driver who was distracted changing music on her car radio when she fatally struck a cyclist, sobbed as she was sent to prison for nine months.

Emma Kent, 24, was sentenced to jail and a two-year community corrections order in the Victorian County Court last week.

She was trying to connect her phone’s Bluetooth to the car audio when she struck 57-year-old Gareth Davies on Black Forest Drive at Macedon on December 10 last year.

Judge Sue Pullen noted Kent expressed remorse and guilt for her actions but insisted a term of imprisonment was needed.

“The distress to both families, Mr Davies’ and your own, is evident,” she said. “But their loss is permanent.”

Kent told police she was distracted for about 10 seconds. She pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving causing death.

Kent sobbed throughout the proceeding and appeared shocked as the sentence was announced.

Tears also flowed during Kent’s court hearing on November 14 when Mr Davies’ daughters recounted their loss.

“In the first 24 hours after I found out, it felt like the world and my life was ending,” Rhia Davies told the court.

Before the accident, Mr Davies’ family had been looking forward to visiting Wales for Christmas with their father.

“The last memory of my dad was coming into my room the night before the accident, so excited, telling me there were only two more weeks before we’re going to Wales to see his family,” Ms Davies said, through tears.

“My dad is permanently out of my life solely because of the actions of the accused in this crime.”

Her younger sister, Ffion, said the memory of having to tell her grandmother of his death still haunted her.

“After my dad was killed, my whole world fell apart,” she said.

Kent’s defence said she had always pleaded guilty and was remorseful. “It could hardly be said she was unaffected,” he said.

The defence called for a community corrections order, but the prosecution argued the offending was serious and deserved jail.


The Age