Schoolboy death: Why was the driver free?

 

Attorney-General Mark Speakman will urgently review the case of a man serving jail time in the community for driving offences who allegedly mowed down and killed a 12-year-old boy yesterday.

The unlicensed driver, Rabieh Abdulrahman, has a history of violence, driving high on drugs and carrying weapons.

But instead of being behind bars, Abdulrahman is serving his jail sentence in the community, and yesterday morning he allegedly ploughed his car into a Sydney Technical High School student in Hurstville.

Abdulrahman was charged with manslaughter, dangerous driving causing death and driving unlicensed after the crash.

The scene on Forest rd Hurstville, near Hurstville Public School where a child had been hit by a car.
The scene on Forest rd Hurstville, near Hurstville Public School where a child had been hit by a car.

Late last night Mr Speakman said he would review Abdulrahman's case. "I have asked the Department of Communities and Justice to provide me with a transcript of relevant proceedings involving the alleged offender, which I will review."

Abdulrahman was sentenced to a one-year intensive corrections order on October 4 after being convicted of assaulting a police officer, carrying knives in a public place, driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs, carrying a weapon and resisting arrest.

The intensive corrections order is a term of imprisonment to be served in the community until October 4 this year.

The driver of a car that hit a 12 year old boy in Hurstville, was arrested at the scene by officers from the St George Police Area Command and was taken to hospital for mandatory testing. Picture: 9 News
The driver of a car that hit a 12 year old boy in Hurstville, was arrested at the scene by officers from the St George Police Area Command and was taken to hospital for mandatory testing. Picture: 9 News

"An ICO is a custodial sentence of up two years that the court decides can be served in the community," the Department of Justice states.

"Community safety is the court's paramount consideration when making this decision."

Yesterday, while serving that jail sentence Abdulrahman allegedly hit the boy, then got out of his car and lit a cigarette. Later the 36-year-old was photographed sticking up both middle fingers of his cuffed hands while police surrounded him.

The Sydney Technical High School Year 7 student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was hit by Abdulrahman's white Toyota Corolla at 8.40am on the corner of Lily St and Forest Rd outside Hurstville Public School.

Harrowing footage taken by a security camera at a nearby business shows the boy crossing the street when he is collected by the sedan, which then crashed into the school's fence with the teen trapped underneath.

Abas Nazari had just started work as a painter at a home nearby when he heard the crash.

"After about two seconds I heard the screaming," he said.

Mr Nazari alleged that the driver made no attempt to help after the sickening impact.

"The driver didn't say anything, he just got out and started smoking - he didn't try to help," Mr Nazari said.

St George Acting Superintendent Chief Inspector Craig James said students, parents, teachers, passers-by and an off-duty paramedic tried desperately to save the boy's life - but he was pronounced dead at Sydney Children's Hospital.

"It was school drop-off time, there were a number of kids being dropped off at school, teachers that ran out to the scene, the general public - this is absolutely awful for them," Chief Inspector James said.

Kogarah state Labor MP Chris Minns delivered a message on behalf of Sydney Technical High School. "Students and staff have been provided with counselling to support them and also have contact numbers so that they can access help over the weekend or later if needed," he posted on Facebook.

Education Department Secretary Mark Scott thanked those who tried to help. "Thanks to all (who are) working tirelessly to support school communities after this morning's terrible accident," Mr Scott said. "So shocking and devastating for students, parents and teachers at this sudden, tragic loss."

The Education Department said it would also provide support to Hurstville Public School, where the victim attended until his graduation last year.

"The student was a much-loved member of each school community," a spokesman said.

"The school community's thoughts and heartfelt sympathy are with the student's family and friends."