NILSSON Smyth had faced court on driving-related charges at least nine times before his bad behaviour behind the wheel finally killed someone.
Judge Michael Bourke told Smyth yesterday that, in the words of his own barrister, “you were completely out of control”.
That was all because of his addiction to alcohol, especially in the weeks leading up to the Bandiana crash in which Kyralee Clark died.
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“It’s a very bad driving record and, of course, relevant to sentencing you,” he said.
Judge Bourke gave Smyth an outline of the events that led to the crash, based largely on a prosecution summary put before a plea hearing on September 8.
Judge Bourke said Kyralee, 17, had intended staying the night with her aunt, Jessica Kidd, then 19, at Smyth’s home.
But at some point the three got into Miss Kidd’s car to look for two people who were earlier at Smyth’s home.
“The three of you left on a fateful journey,” Judge Bourke said.
Smyth began speeding and driving erratically and before long police were in pursuit.
But instead of stopping, “you decided to run for it,” Judge Bourke told Smyth.
“You often travelled on the wrong side of the road, including roundabouts.”
Judge Bourke said Kyralee desperately expressed her concerns from the back seat and that “both young women were terrified”.
An intoxicated Smyth drove at up to 180km/h as he led police on two separate pursuits, the first starting in North Albury.
The second began on the Borella Road off-ramp of the Hume Freeway at 12.26am on December 4 and finished six minutes and 40 seconds later — after a 13.65-kilometre journey
Judge Bourke spoke of the heartbreaking impact on Kyralee’s family and the need for a sentence to be a general deterrence.
Mitigating factors included Smyth’s guilty plea, his clear remorse, and his personal circumstance of a brain injury that — despite it being a result of his own criminal actions — would impact on his ability to cope with jail.
Also, Smyth’s young age at the time of the offences was considered.
Judge Bourke said the full sentence of nine years’ jail was the result of some of the second charge of reckless driving endangering life being cumulative, as this count related to the danger Miss Kidd was placed in.
Smyth was disqualified from obtaining a driver’s licence for five years.