Car thief who killed boy in crash jailed

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN fresh out of jail who crashed a stolen car into an Indonesian family’s stationary van in Perth, killing a five-year-old boy, has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Matthew David Molloy had been driving at about 96 km/h in a 70 zone in the lead up to the rear-end crash on Leach Highway in Wilson on December 29 last year, which shunted the front of the van underneath a truck.

Leonardus Tjandra suffered catastrophic head injuries while six members of his family, including his six-year-old brother Franciscus, suffered serious injuries.

Molloy, 36, who was disqualified from driving for life at the time of the collision, did not take any evasive action, fled the scene and called his mother to pick him up nearby.

He claims he cannot remember the crash.

Matthew David Molloy was sentenced today at the District Court of WA. Picture: Stock image.

In the District Court of WA on Tuesday, the boy’s father Edwin Tjandra delivered an emotional victim impact statement, saying his life had been ruined.

He said he’d never thought of losing his son at such a young age, caused by someone who had just got out of prison.

“He was so full of life and healthy,” Dr Tjandra said.

“Suddenly he was taken away from me.

“There is no happiness in the house. It is quiet now – no different to a cemetery.”

He said he suffered flashbacks from a multitude of reminders, including when he saw the same model of vehicle involved in the crash, and couldn’t stop weeping when he once couldn’t avoid going past the scene.

“I break down at the slightest trigger,” he said.

“Christmas is all about tragedy now.”

Dr Tjandra said his other son had asked “why he could not die as well”.

In the District Court of WA, the boy’s father delivered an emotional victim impact statement. Picture: Stock image

On top of the emotional pain, the court heard the victims still suffered from their injuries including constant discomfort, vertigo, ringing ears, broken teeth and the need for further surgery.

Since the age of 14, the longest stint Molloy had outside of prison was four months.

Judge Bruce Goetze said he had become institutionalised, with a 41-page criminal record including multiple car theft offences.

Molloy’s dysfunctional childhood included being taught by his father to inject heroin at age 13.

He took the drug the day before the crash.

Molloy will be eligible for parole after serving five-and-a-half years behind bars.

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