The punishment of a disqualified, speeding and drug-addled motorist who murdered a kid on a Sydney pedestrian crossing has been doubled by appeal court judges because his term was “manifestly insufficient.”
As witnesses administered first aid, Rabih Abdulrahman smoked a cigarette, prompting the boy’s father to characterize his inability to save his son as “totally breaching all moral bottom lines, and making our hearts freeze.”
Abdulrahman was sentenced to six years and ten months in prison in September by the NSW District Court, with a four-year non-parole period.
On Friday, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal upheld a crown appeal, extending his sentence to ten years and two months, with a six-year non-parole period.
Abdulrahman, 36 at the time, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and driving while disqualified after striking a 12-year-old child heading to school in Hurstville on September 6, 2019.
His 12-year-old pal was just behind him when the victim was halfway through the pedestrian crossing when the car’s hood collided with him.
The three appeal court justices agreed with the crown that the sentence was “manifestly insufficient” in light of the seriousness of the vehicular manslaughter case.
They also agreed that the sentencing judge erred in neglecting to consider the necessity for Abdulrahman’s specific deterrence as well as the necessity to protect the community from him.
He was driving “erratically and merging between lanes without signaling” before the incident, requiring other cars to take evasive measures to avoid a collision.
Despite the fact that the maximum speed limit is 40 km/h, he was traveling at around 65 km/h when he crashed outside Hurstville Public School.
He had run a red light and ended up mounting the kerb outside the school, dislodging a traffic signal fixed into the sidewalk, and colliding with a metal fence.
“The victim was flung on the ground near the rear passenger side door of the vehicle when the automobile came to a complete stop,” the accepted facts stated.
“His head was towards the car’s back end. His body was nearly engulfed by the vehicle. He was dripping blood from his skull.”
While witnesses, including instructors, attempted to assist the youngster, Abdulrahman exited the vehicle and examined the youngster’s corpse.
“He got out of the car and got his suitcase. He took out his phone, which was hooked into a vehicle charger.
“While standing on the pavement near his car, he erased texts from his phone.”
“He had a cigarette in his mouth. While the witnesses were delivering first assistance, he did not help or offer to assist.”
He had a mixture of narcotics in his system, including prescription medications as well as illicit narcotics amphetamine and methylamphetamine.
He was banned and serving an extensive correctional order at the time, after his conviction in October 2018 for driving while under the influence of narcotics and refusing a police officer performing their job.
The boy’s father added in his victim impact statement that his son’s death had “broken the wholeness of our family and has forced our whole family to plunge into never-ending anguish for the rest of our lives.”
The second youngster also spoke about the pain and fear he feels as a result of seeing his friend’s death.
Justice Robert Beech-Jones resentenced Abdulrahman, acknowledging his regret but dismissing his chances of recovery.
He remarked, “I believe there is a significant possibility that he would re-offend in a very major fashion in the future.”
- Rabih Abdulrahman: Danny Casey/AAP PHOTOS