A drink-driver got away with a suspended two-year jail term today after he was convicted of the manslaughter of a cyclist following an accident in 2006.
Fadla-Lah Mohammed Ahmed Moh Bahkret, 37, had died in the accident in Aviation Street, Gudja when the bicycle was hit by a VW Passat car driven by Eric Zammit on December 8.
The two were both heading towards Ħal-Far when the car smashed into the bike, throwing it over the windscreen before crashing into a barrier.
The cyclist died of a fracture of the cervical spine.
In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Ian Farrugia noted that Zammit was only 20 years of age at the time of the accident and his car was moving at 68kph, a "moderate" speed.
The bike had no lights and the cyclist was not using the parallel service road used by pedestrians and cyclists.
The court also observed, however, that Zammit was driving under the influence of alcohol, he was not insured and he was conditionally discharged in another case six months previously.
It also found that the road was straight, and although wet with rainfall, the surface was good and well lit at the time of the crash.
The court said the driver was mainly responsible for the accident due to his carelessness and lack of attention, but in not using the service road, the cyclist was also partly responsible.
The court said those responsible for involuntary homicide in a traffic accident should not all necessarily be jailed, and all factors had to be considered.
In this case, it was not in the interests of justice to impose an effective jail term.
Zammit was, however ordered to pay €3,000 in court costs and a fine of €1,000 for a previous sentence. His licence was suspended for two years.
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