Drunk driver jailed for killing teen

Stock image.
Stock image.

A DRUNK driver who ploughed into two boys waiting to cross a Perth street, killing one of them, has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Kayden McPhee, 15, died and Blake O’Neill, 16, was seriously injured after they were struck by a BMW as they stood on a traffic island in Midvale on the evening of July 31, 2018.

A 12-year-old boy who was with them was not hit.

Biju Paulose, 49, pleaded guilty to several charges, including manslaughter and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, and was sentenced in the West Australian Supreme Court on Friday.

The father-of-two, who had a blood alcohol reading of 0.212, failed to stop after the crash or report the incident to police.

He was nabbed by officers after parking his car on a nearby street.

The court heard the road had been dry, visibility was clear and Paulose had been seen drifting in and out of his lane before the crash.

Justice Joseph McGrath said Paulose’s driving was so erratic and unexpected that the boys could not take evasive action.

Paulose had claimed he failed to stop because he feared being assaulted, but Justice McGrath said there was no basis for that belief.

However, he accepted the heavily intoxicated Paulose was “shook up” after the crash and was now remorseful for his crimes.

Kayden died at Royal Perth Hospital nine days after he was struck, while Blake was also hospitalised.

Justice McGrath said Kayden had been robbed of his life.

He also acknowledged the victim impact statements of Kayden’s dad, grandmother and aunt, who described their pain and ongoing anguish.

Paulose’s lawyer said his client had not consumed alcohol since February.

In a “heartfelt” letter to the court, Paulose acknowledged his wrongdoing, expressed his grief for the family and said he lied awake at night thinking about what happened, his lawyer said.

Paulose, who was born in India, previously worked in Ireland before moving to Australia four years ago with his family and had no prior criminal record.

Paulose, who kept his head down during most of the proceedings, must serve at least seven years behind bars before he can be eligible for parole.

Upon his release, he will also be banned from driving for seven years.

– AAP