Sunday 9 December 2018

Hit-and-run victim's family are furious at five-year term

Karl Robertson
Karl Robertson

Amy Molloy and Sarah Jane Murphy

The heartbroken family of a young man killed in a hit and run believe "justice hasn't been done" after the driver responsible was handed down a five-year sentence.

Karl Robertson (28) had been out jogging just yards from his home in Artane, Dublin, when he was struck by a van and propelled nearly 20 metres along the road. He died the following day in Beaumont Hospital from extensive head injuries.

The driver of the van, Patrick Morgan (28), of no fixed abode, later set fire to the vehicle a short distance away.

Karl's mother Cathy Reid said her family had been "given a life sentence" while Patrick Morgan would be back on the streets in a matter of years.

"We waited in that court from 10.30am and the case wasn't called until 4pm. It wasn't justice in our eyes," she said.

In a victim-impact statement, Mr Robertson's mother said she was angry that her son had been left to die on the road so near their home, yet his family were oblivious to this.

"I go to bed each night hoping it will be my last - this family has been destroyed forever and the way Karl was taken is unforgivable," she said. Karl's godfather Fred Reid spoke about the family's pain on behalf of his younger sister Cathy.

"My sister spent the whole time in court crying. She wanted to be there for Karl, but it has been so difficult. We have all been so upset since that day.

"Karl never gave anybody an ounce of trouble in his life," he said. "He was a great godchild, he was always a great help to me. He was a quiet lad, very shy but technically very bright."

Morgan pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of Mr Robertson, failing to stop at the scene, failing to offer help, and leaving the scene at Hazelwood Drive, Artane on March 8, 2017. He came forward to gardaí the following day and was arrested.

In what was described by the judge as "a tragic twist of fate", Morgan realised he knew Mr Robertson when he saw his death reported online.

Morgan has 47 previous convictions and was the subject of three driving disqualifications at the time of this incident.

"How he was allowed be on the roads is a complete mystery to me," said Mr Reid. "We are disappointed about the outcome and how long it took to get to court. How can someone's life be worth so little."

Irish Independent

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