Mum Who Killed Cyclist 'Should Be Spared Jail' To Raise Son
An Adelaide mother who was driving on drugs when she hit and killed a cyclist should be spared jail time for the good of her young son, a court has heard.
Samantha Magdaleine Farrer, 40, has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of the crash, south of Adelaide, in December 2013.
Her lawyer says she should be spared prison time because it would split up the mother and her 15-month-old son, causing him undue hardship at a crucial age.
"Children thrive best in a safe and loving environment," defence counsel Gilbert Aitken told the South Australian District Court on Wednesday.
The court heard Adelaide Women's Prison does not allow prisoners to keep children with them.
Mr Aitken said the child could live with Farrer's mother but that this was the "second best option", requesting a suspended prison sentence.
He said it would be detrimental to the boy to be separated from his mother at such a young age, referring to a psychologist's report about the effects.
""(He could develop) poor self-worth, a belief that others are unreliable, that the world is unpredictable and that no one's there to care for him," he said.
The court previously heard the victim Kathleen Heraghty, 48, was riding along a straight road when she was hit by Farrer near Victor Harbor.
Heraghty, a nurse and mother of three, had been training for a local triathlon with her husband. She was flung on to a grass verge in the crash.
Farrer was on methamphetamine at the time and drove away with a shattered windscreen before police stopped her.
Mr Aitken said Farrer's actions, while reckless and with tragic consequences, had no specific intent to cause harm.
But prosecutors say the crimes were too serious for the mother to avoid a custodial sentence.
Judge Gordon Barrett said the victim was clearly visible for 300 metres, finding Farrer was most likely distracted and impaired because she had taken drugs.
Farrer will return to court for sentencing on October 21.
Do you think Samantha Magdaleine Farrer should be spared jail for her baby's sake?
Source: AAP/Staff Writers