National

NSW driver jailed over pedestrian’s death

By AAP Newswire

An "upset and distracted" woman whose dangerous driving caused the death of a 78-year-old pedestrian near Wollongong has been jailed for at least a year.

Amelia Rae Fennell, now 25, contended that Barbara Jones stepped out into traffic without taking any proper precautions and would have died no matter what her manner of driving had been.

But the Wollongong District Court jury disagreed and in August found Fennell guilty of driving in a manner dangerous causing death in September 2017 at Oak Flats.

Judge Andrew Haesler on Monday jailed her for three years with a non-parole period of one year.

"Just before the collision Mrs Jones had stepped onto the roadway from a pedestrian refuge just south of a roundabout," he said.

"There was no marked pedestrian crossing but it was a well signposted high pedestrian area."

Fennell was driving her car at an estimated speed of 58 km/h as she exited the roundabout, while the posted limit was 40 km/h.

She told police she didn't see Mrs Jones but felt an impact. She stopped and gave immediate assistance.

The judge referred to evidence that Fennell was not fully recovered from a leg infection, but had returned to work that morning but left after a dispute with her boss.

"She was upset, distracted, still unwell and not thinking clearly," the judge said.

"Instead of exercising the proper care expected of a driver she drove recklessly and dangerously through the roundabout without thought for the consequences.

"She did so in an area clearly marked to alert drivers to the danger posed by pedestrians and at a speed well above what the area and time of day demanded."

Victim impact statements told of the "immeasurable pain and loss her violent, tragic and undignified death has caused them all", he said.

The judge accepted Fennell was remorseful and had family responsibilities, but concluded full time imprisonment was the appropriate sentence.

"An innocent woman out shopping was killed as a result of Fennell's seriously criminal driving."