A man who was naked, drugged, drunk and driving without a licence has been jailed for more than five years for killing his fiancee and their unborn child in a car crash.
John James Ceruto’s actions were “incredibly dangerous by any standard”, South Australian District Court Judge Julie McIntyre said on Friday.
The judge also had difficulty with Ceruto’s explanation for getting behind the wheel in January this year considering his conduct after the fatal crash.
He had told the court that he was rushing Lisa Smith, who was heavily pregnant, to hospital at the time because she was having what he thought was a medical emergency and he felt panicked.
On the way he lost control of the car at high speed and smashed into a power pole.
The 31-year-old fled the crash scene and when he was detained he failed to immediately co-operate with police.
Judge McIntyre said that showed a callous disregard for both Ms Smith’s welfare and also that of their unborn son Chase.
“That does not sit well with your mercy dash to the hospital,” she said.
However, she accepted that Ceruto had suffered a head injury and was “not yourself” and gave him credit for pleading guilty to one count of aggravated causing death by dangerous driving.
He had also apologised to Ms Smith’s family in court.
Judge McIntyre said Ceruto had led a sad and difficult early life having lost his father and uncle to drug overdoses and his mother to domestic violence.
She imposed a head sentence of six years and 10 months with a non-parole period of five years and five months.
The judge refused a defence request to suspend the jail terms.