A dangerous driver who caused the death of Irishman Francis Shanley in a horror crash in Australia has been jailed for a maximum of three-and-a-half years.
Francis Omigie, 55, was found guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death and failing to stop and assist at NSW District Court on Wednesday following a fatal 10-vehicle pile-up in Sydney in May 2019.
Mr Shanley, 36, originally from Currycramp, Bornacoola, Co Leitrim, had settled in Australia after moving there over 10 years ago.
The popular mechanic was preparing to tie the knot with his Australian fiancee Broc Nicholson.
On Thursday, NSW District Court Judge Jane Culver jailed Omigie for 3½ years, with a non-parole period of two years and two months.
Judge Culver said: “The court extends its condolences to Ms Nicholson for the loss of her fiancée.
“This matter is a tragedy. No sentence can ever be a measure of human life, nor the suffering caused by the loss of human life.”
Posting a link to the sentencing on Facebook, Ms Nicholson said: “Better than nothing, you (Francis) can now rest peacefully.”
The judge previously stated that Omigie showed a “selfish disregard” for other motorists and slammed his “inconsistent” version of events over why he stopped suddenly in front of a car and then tried to merge across five lanes of rush-hour traffic.
She described one story that centred on mechanical faults in Omigie’s green Toyota Echo as a lie and said she believed that Omigie dangerously exited the major arterial road in a belated attempt to avoid paying a toll.
Omigie’s actions caused crashes from multiple cars behind him who were following too closely and could not stop in time.
Francis Shanley and Broc Nicholson
Mr Shanley’s vehicle became wedged between another car and the concrete dividing barrier in the middle of the road.
An Isuzu truck that was carrying beer kegs was subsequently involved in the pile-up and crushed Mr Shanley’s stationary car.
Mr Shanley died at the scene from multiple injuries.
Judge Culver said Omigie had shown remorse and had good prospects of rehabilitation.
Omigie will be eligible for parole in April 2023.
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