Judge calls for law to punish 'senseless actions' by pedestrians

A driver who killed a 10-year-old boy who ran out on a busy road has had his 32-month jail term reduced to a suspended sentence, with the court noting that pedestrians have safety obligations too

The road near the Luxol grounds, where the 10-year-old boy was hit by the driver and killed, after he ran out to cross without looking
The road near the Luxol grounds, where the 10-year-old boy was hit by the driver and killed, after he ran out to cross without looking

The time has come for “senseless actions by pedestrians” to be punished by law, a court has said, as it reduced the sentence of a man found guilty of the involuntary homicide of a 10-year-old boy from 32 months to a suspended sentence

Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera, presiding the court of criminal appeal, confirmed Fatih Pancar's criminal responsibility but reduced the punishment to two years prison, suspended for three years. The court also confirmed the man's four-year driving ban and ordered the release of the accused’s Peugeot, which had been impounded for forensic testing.

Ten-year-old Rodwan Aghil, a Libyan national, had been crossing the road in St Andrew's on 30 May, 2015, when he was hit by the Peugeot being driven by Fatih Pancar, 38, from St Paul's Bay. Pancar had been living in Malta for around 16 years at the time.

The judge agreed with the recommendations made by magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, presiding over the first court, who had called upon the legislator to consider the introduction of 'pedestrian offences’.

Pedestrians also had obligations, not just drivers observed the judge.

"This court suggests that there ought to be sanctions upon those persons who chose to cross the road at a particular point, ignoring a pedestrian crossing or a safer spot along the road," Scerri Herrera said.

It emerged from the evidence that the child had run out on the busy road, into the path of oncoming traffic.

The court had heard witnesses testify to seeing the driver, who had driven across amber traffic lights at over 50km/h, fall to his knees and scream upon realising that he had run over the boy, who was thrown into the air upon impact with the car. The child died about an hour later.

Lawyers Kris Busietta, Jason Azzopardi and Julian Farrugia were counsel to the appellant.

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