A man killed his best mate in an “unusual” driving incident following a drug deal, telling a court he braked hard to avoid running him over.
Narada Jade Cutajar was handed a jail sentence for killing his friend Bobby Anderson, who fell from Cutajar’s moving vehicle in a Brisbane car park in January last year.
But he was made immediately eligible for parole by District Court judge Paul Smith, who remarked on the bizarre circumstances of how Mr Anderson died.
“It’s an unusual case, actually,” Judge Smith said.
“(Cutajar) shouldn’t have been driving at that speed, but the man got on the bonnet, which was pretty foolish.
“But he (the deceased) shouldn’t have died.”
An emotional Cutajar, 36, wept outside court after he was convicted.
Brisbane District Court was told Cutajar arranged to meet Mr Anderson at a car park in Brisbane to supply him with 7g of cocaine on January 2 last year.
An “intoxicated” Mr Anderson was lying across the car bonnet when Cutajar drove the vehicle at about 20kmh – 10km over the car park’s speed limit.
Crown prosecutor Dejana Kovac said Cutajar then braked hard, causing the tyres to screech.
Mr Anderson fell off the car and hit his head on the concrete floor, she said.
He sustained serious brain injuries and died in hospital a week later.
Cutajar’s drug charges related to the supply of the cocaine and police discovering other drugs and paraphernalia at his house on January 6.
He also refused to give officers the passcode to his phone, Ms Kovac said.
The court was told Catajar had seen his friend holding onto the bonnet and braked to avoid running him over.
Ms Kovac said Mr Anderson’s death had a “profound” impact on his family.
Cutajar had pleaded guilty to a single charge of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and a number of drug-related charges.
Ambyr Cousen, Cutajar’s defence barrister, said her client had penned a letter of apology to Mr Anderson’s family for the incident, calling it a significant mistake.
He was not affected by drugs at the time.
She said Cutajar had realised he had hit “rock bottom” and had undergone treatment for his drug addiction issues while out on bail.
“His lifestyle before the incident did isolate him from his family,” Ms Cousen said.
“He’s been sober for two years.”
The court was told Cutajar had a good work history and would be readily able to find work as a carpenter once released.
Cutajar was jailed for three years but was immediately released on parole.
“The whole situation was dangerous,” Judge Smith said.
“You didn’t intend to do this, I’m sure you didn’t. But you shouldn’t have been doing that.”
Judge Smith said he was otherwise “impressed” by Cutajar’s rehabilitation efforts, noting there was no intention to cause harm.
Cutajar was not intoxicated at the time, nor driving excessively and he had no intent to harm, the court was told.
He received various other concurrent sentences for his drug offending.