A young woman who killed a beloved grandfather repeatedly broke down in court as prosecutors described her offending in front of her family and that of the victim.
After previously denying the charge and blaming ‘four African males’ for it, Alisha Fagan, 22, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death in the County Court of Victoria’s Koori Court on Monday.
On June 9, 2022 Fagan sped through an intersection and failed to give way in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine, killing local grandfather Sedat Hassan, 69.
She was speeding, clocking 78kmph in a 50 zone, with alcohol in her system, on a suspended learner’s permit and blew .029 when tested.
As the circumstances of what happened were described by prosecutor Kristie Churchill, which included Fagan’s drinking with a friend at the Maribyrnong River before the incident, Fagan sobbed uncontrollably and briefly left the courtroom.
Alisha Fagan (pictured) who killed a beloved grandfather repeatedly broke down in court on Monday as prosecutors described her offending in front of her family and that of the victim
Mr Hassan’s widow Balkiz fainted as the evidence of how her husband died was read out, and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Ms Churchill told the court at 12.45am on June 9, driving a white Audi with ‘excessive speed’ and with alcohol in her system, Fagan failed to heed a give way sign and collided with Mr Hassan’s car at the intersection of Links St and Glengala Road.
Such was the force of the impact, the court heard, Mr Hassan’s Honda came to rest 25metres from the point of impact.
Ms Churchill said that after the crash, Fagan lied to police, telling them she had been a passenger in the car, from which four African males had fled.
She said Fagan, who was unemployed and living with her mother in Wyndham Vale at the time, initially told police her name was ‘Ruby Cannon’.
Police searched her bag and found the keys to the Audi, four Xanax tablets and a kitchen knife, the court heard.
Fagan was on bail at the time and as part of her bail conditions was prohibited from driving.
On June 9, 2022 Fagan sped through an intersection and failed to give way in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine, killing local grandfather Sedat Hassan, 69
Sedat Hassan (pictured) died at the scene as a result of his injuries when his car was crashed into by an Audi driven by Alisha Fagan
A victim impact statement, written by Mr Hassan’s widow Balkiz but read out in court by Ms Churchill, recounted the trauma of police arriving at their home in Sunshine West and telling the family what happened, which her son had to translate to her.
‘I was asking my son what the police were saying,’ the victim impact statement said.
‘I’ve lost the love of my life. My husband was my world and I can’t bring him back.
‘I don’t speak English. I must rely on my sons for this and I feel like a burden.’
Their son Kadir said in his statement that he ‘got emotional when I had to identify his body, I burst out. I’ve thought about taking my own life.
‘All Dad wanted was to be a grandfather … but he only got to hold his grandson three times.’
As per Koori Court proceedings, Fagan sat beside her mother along with two Aboriginal Elders.
Fagan said she felt ‘safer’ and ‘able to talk’ in the presence of Indigenous artwork in the room, and told the court she had started painting when she was on bail at a Bunjilwarra – an Aboriginal rehab centre in Hastings, Victoria.
‘Rehab helped me so much more than jail did,’ she said. ‘You can’t heal in that environment.’
In a letter of apology written to the family, Fagan said ‘I know what I write will never be good enough’.
Fagan (pictured) wrote a letter of apology to the victim’s family and said she was a ‘severe alcoholic’ at the time
Sedat Hassan (pictured) only got to hold his grandson three times before he was killed
‘I write this letter to express how deeply sorry I am. I take full responsibility for what happened.
‘I was a severe alcoholic. I made poor lifestyle choices.’
Fagan’s mother, who was present along with her father, told the court that she was ‘so angry with her’ at the time of the tragedy, but ‘could not be more proud of her today and I couldn’t have said that 12 months ago’.
The case was adjourned part heard to May 9, with Fagan’s bail extended to that date.
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