The mother of a Woolworths delivery truck driver who was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Adelaide’s north says her reason to live died along with her son.
- Jatinder Brar’s heartbroken family members have released victim impact statements
- Prosecutor Darren Evans told the court Brine had previously killed a friend by dangerous driving
- He said she “couldn’t have done anything more wrong” than what she had the day Mr Brar was killed
Jatinder Brar, 25, died at Salisbury South on January 4, 2019, after the truck he was driving was hit by a stolen car, driven by 24-year-old Sophie Louise Brine.
She returned to court for sentencing submissions today after earlier pleading guilty to an aggravated charge of death by dangerous driving and leaving an accident scene.
In his submissions to court, prosecutor Darren Evans revealed that as a youth, Brine had killed her best friend by dangerous driving about 10 years ago.
He also read impact statements from Mr Brar’s family and friends, who were in court.
Mr Brar’s mother, Kulwinder Kaur, wrote about crying for her son every day and said she now takes medication to sleep.
“When I heard the news of Jatinder’s death, my life and my reason to live ended,” she wrote.
“He provided financial support to me and he was planning to finish his study in Australia and return home to support me in India.
“Before my son’s death my future was bright but now I wonder what will happen.”
The victim was described as a ‘superhero’ by his family
Mr Brar’s sister, Beant Kaur, said her brother was a “superhero”.
“Now life is full of darkness. My brother was my strength.”
Mr Brar’s family said they respected the justice system and said Brine deserved the maximum penalty.
Brine, a mother-of-four, wept in court while reading a written apology, addressed “from one mum to another”.
“Nothing I say will ever fix what I have done and not a day will go by that I will not think of your son and your family,” she said.
“I have made so many stupid mistakes in my life, I’m not a bad person.”
Brine ‘put a great number of lives at risk’
Mr Evans told the court Brine shouldn’t have been driving and should have understood the consequences of dangerous driving.
“She couldn’t have done almost anything more wrong than she did that day,” he said.
“This is right up there at the top of the scale of seriousness … this is not a momentary lapse of attention, this is a prolonged course of dangerous driving … she’s put a great number of lives at risk.”
Judge Joanne Tracey said Brine had been driving routinely and had appeared to show a ‘complete and utter disregard’ to her disqualification.
But Brine’s lawyer said the previous offence was an indication of his client’s immaturity and age.
He said she had shown positive steps to rehabilitation and was intent on further counselling.
He asked Judge Tracey to consider Brine’s exposure to difficult conditions involving violence, drugs and alcohol use and said she had gained employment at prison and started reconnecting with her estranged family.
Following the fatal crash, friends of Mr Brar started an online fundraiser following the death to help his family in India and to assist with repatriating his body back to his home state of Punjab.
The matter will return to court next month.