A Hamilton man who had a cocktail of drugs in his system when he hit and killed a pedestrian has been jailed for more than three years.
Jason Young, 48, was lying on the ground in Hamilton's Henry Court on March 10, 2020, when he was hit by a reversing silver Nissan Pulsar shortly after 3am. He sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene.
Dale Kennett, 54, of Hamilton, was last year found guilty of dangerous driving causing death.
On Thursday he was jailed for three-and-a-half years.
He must serve a non-parole period of two years and six months, and has already served 284 days in custody on remand.
Kennett was found to have cannabis, amphetamine and a high level of methamphetamine in his system when he quickly reversed his vehicle and hit something that he thought was a wheelie bin.
His vehicle only had one headlight and the windows were foggy.
Kennett fled the scene and was later intercepted by police due to his inoperative headlight.
He told an officer he was attacked by a third man and wanted to get away because he thought he would be assaulted.
The jury found him not guilty of failing to render assistance after an accident.
Judge Fran Dalziel said it could not be found beyond reasonable doubt that the drugs in Kennett's system had a negative effect on his driving and decision making.
But she said the man should not have been driving at all due to the presence of the illicit substances and his inoperative headlight.
She said Kennett's decision to accelerate away, at a speed that left tyre marks on the road surface, was "obviously" dangerous and presented a significant risk of death or serious injury.
Judge Dalziel said Mr Young's death had a profound impact on his family, particularly his parents, nephew and sister.
She said the victim's mother described in a victim impact statement the difficulty in accepting their beloved son had died in such a way.
She said Mr Young was described as smart, brilliant, generous and a man who loved his family.
"(Mr Young's mother) writes: 'I know it is hard for anyone to understand the agony of losing one of your children and I hope you never do'," Judge Dalziel said.
She said Kennett had a long history of childhood trauma and neglect, leading to drug abuse which started in primary school.
She said the man had a lengthy criminal history for dishonesty, drug and assault-related offending, as well as low level driving offences.
At the time of Mr Young's death, Kennett was on a community correction order, which was imposed in December 2019 with conditions intended to address his mental health issues and drug abuse, the court heard.
Judge Dalziel said the man's "recent good efforts" to remain clean from drugs was promising but he still had work to do.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.