Driver, 54, who thought he had run over a ball when he killed a two-year-old boy in a hit-and-run is found guilty
An Adelaide man who thought he had run over a ball when he fatally struck a toddler and drove away has been found guilty of all charges.
Michael Craig Bullock, 54, was charged with aggravated driving without due care and leaving the scene of an accident over two-year-old Zayne Colson’s death in February, 2017.
Jurors cried as majority guilty verdicts were handed down in the District Court on Thursday, while Bullock showed little emotion before Judge Paul Cuthbertson revoked his bail and he was led to the cells.
A large group of family members present throughout the trial wore t-shirts bearing a photo of the toddler and embraced outside court.
Great aunty Tania Kearney said the family were pleased with the verdict, and appealed to motorists in similar situations to ‘slow down and stop’.
She also called for greater sensitivity to be shown in court to people who have died.
‘The way that my nephew was described in there was nothing short of disgusting,’ she said.
During the trial, the court heard Zayne was outside his Dover Gardens home playing with his sisters, aged five and seven, when he was hit.
Prosecutor Rebecca Gray said the toddler had been dragged underneath the car for a few metres and was left lying on the road.
‘The accused, following the collision, immediately drove on to his home that was 100 metres away,’ she said.
The jury heard it was Bullock’s wife who contacted emergency services, but Bullock told the operator: ‘I didn’t stop. It wasn’t safe.’
Bullock testified he was travelling about 35km/h on the residential street when a young girl ran onto the road from behind a tree.
He said he swerved to miss her and felt something under his rear wheels but ‘just thought it was a ball.
Bullock told the court he thought he was in danger because of an incident about six months earlier, when a group of seven men tried to break into his house.
But Ms Gray said he had no reason to be fearful of the family, and he knew there were no men living at their home.
She suggested he would have been hesitant to brake because his German shepherd was travelling unrestrained in the car.
It took a jury of 11 people more than seven hours to return their verdict, and Bullock will return to court for sentencing submissions in May.