Friday 15 December 2017

Man (25) admits causing death of toddler Venessa in Phoenix Park

Little Venessa Siatka
Little Venessa Siatka
Little Venessa Siatka who died in the Phoenix Park crash
Ciaran Lane

Fiona Ferguson

A 25-year-old man will be sentenced in April for dangerous driving causing the death of a toddler at the Phoenix Park.

Ciaran Lane, of Ashington Avenue, Cabra, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of 23-month-old Venessa Siatka at Ratra Triangle, Phoenix Park on April 6, 2015.

Ciaran Lane
Ciaran Lane

Little Venessa was a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car near the Ashtown Gate on Easter Monday last year.

Judge Melanie Greally ordered a victim impact report from the parents of the deceased child and set a sentence date of April 19 next when the full facts will be heard.

In the aftermath of Venessa's death, her heartbroken dad Lukasz Siatka (32) told the Herald that she "went to the angels" in her mother's arms.

"She was a happy, healthy and smiley little girl. If I had a bad day in work it all disappeared when I walked through the door. She made our troubles disappear," he said.

An inquest into Venessa's death heard last May that she suffered severe head injuries in the incident.

She died in the early hours of the following morning at Temple Street Hospital.

Hearing

Mr Satkia, originally from Poland, attended the brief hearing alone, with Venessa's mother remaining outside the courtroom.

He took to the witness stand to give evidence that following his daughter's death at Temple Street Children's Hospital, he identified her body to Garda Niall Phelan of Blanchardstown Garda Station.

Speaking from his Blanchardstown home, Venessa's dad described her as "12kg of love".

"She loved Mickey Mouse and Peppa Pig," said Mr Siatka.

"She was beautiful. A beautiful little girl."

Venessa was with her mother, Katarzyna, also known as Kasia, when the tragedy happened.

"They had gone to the park with a friend and another child when she was knocked down," said Mr Siatka.

Passers-by rushed to the aid of the little girl and her mother, and called emergency services.

Paramedics battled to save Venessa and she was rushed to Temple Street Hospital with critical head and internal injuries, but passed away a short time later.

"I got a phone call and went straight to the hospital. I had been told Venessa was badly hurt and then when I saw Kasia I knew how bad it was," said Mr Siatka.

He said doctors at Temple Street told them there was no chance Venessa would survive.

"Waiting was the worst thing. Waiting and not being able to do anything," he added. "Then at 1.28am Venessa died in Kasia's arms. She went to the angels."

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