Melbourne: A 32-year-old Kerala woman in Australia has been sentenced to over two years in jail after a court found her guilty of “wanton disregard of the law” which led to a car crash with a pregnant woman whose baby died.
Kannur native Dimple Grace Thomas, a former nurse and personal carer, will have to serve 15 months before she is eligible for parole and also faces deportation to India after her release, Herald Sun reported.
The court heard that Dimple Grace should have turned left onto the South Gippsland highway when leaving a car park after a gym workout, but instead drove across three lanes in an attempt to enter a gap in the central median strip and turn right, the report said.
She collided with a vehicle driven by a 28-week-pregnant woman, Ashlea Allen, on the highway at about 60 km per hour on South Gippsland Highway in Cranbourne about 1.30pm on August 8 last year.
She had been rushing to beat the traffic when she illegally crossed three lanes and smashed into Allen’s car.
County Court Judge James Parrish sentenced Dimple Grace with a non-parole period of just 15-months.
The judge, who forced the child’s parents to endure two-and-a-half hours of misery before delivering his sentence, said it was likely the nurse would also be deported on being released from jail.
The court heard Dimple Grace did not appear overly distressed over the child’s death until police told her she faced up to 10 years in jail.
She called a lawyer and proceeded to provide “no comment” answers every time she was asked about what happened.
Judge Parrish said Dimple Grace had told her husband she had tried to take a short cut, but she pretended to police that she had made a silly mistake.
She pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving causing death as part of a contested plea, a plea that effectively means she accepted no guilt.
The court heard Dimple Grace disputed she rushed out into traffic in a deliberate act to make a shortcut. But witnesses who saw what she did said they couldn’t believe their eyes.
They said she charged her Mitsubishi Lancer across three lanes of traffic in an effort to make a break in the median strip which was blocked-off by a car making a legal turn into the shopping centre.
The court heard Dimple Grace did her best to get out of her predicament, including a bizarre claim she couldn’t understand English when the matter came before the County Court.
Judge Parrish said the nurse had been educated in English in India, had given her record of interview in English, spoken to doctors in the language and written two letters to Allen.
The self-serving letters, which were supposedly letters of apology, deeply offended the family of baby Milarniah.
Outside court, a disappointed Allen said the sentence offered her family no peace.