herald

Monday 19 August 2019

Crash victim's kids ask 'where's papa?', says widow

Jones was found guilty
Jones was found guilty

The widow of a man killed in a traffic collision held up a photo of her husband in court and shouted that she wanted the man responsible for his death to see how young he had been.

Michael Jones (25), a roofer from Whitestown Drive, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving, causing the death of Hong Qing Qu (33) at Blanchardstown Road South on November 17, 2015.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on day nine of his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last December 19.

In her victim impact statement, which she read aloud in court, Mr Qu's widow said that her two children always asked her "where's papa?" She said because they were too young to understand death, she has told them that he is a "hero".

"If the driver slowed down just a little bit, I wouldn't have lost my husband and my children wouldn't have lost their father," she said.

She said that her husband's parents had not seen their son in 10 years by the time they saw him lying dead in the hospital.

She asked the court to picture an old man shouting and screaming at his son to wake up.

She said she wanted justice and "to let my children know that the law in Ireland is truthful and that the person who made the mistake has to take responsibility". She held up a photo of her husband to Jones and shouted that she wanted him to see how young Mr Qu had been at the time.

Struck

Sergeant Stephen Byrne told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that Mr Qu was driving home when his car was struck by an Audi A3 driven by Jones.

Mr Qu sustained serious injuries and was taken to Connolly Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sgt Byrne said that gardai were able to determine that Jones had driven through a red light and had been travelling between 115kph and 137kph at the point of collision. The speed limit of roads in the area was 60kph, the court heard.

Jones was taken from the scene by men who drove him to a hospital, where Jones gave a false name and said he had injured his leg in a fall.

Padraig Dwyer SC, defending, said his client wished to express his remorse for his actions.

Mr Dwyer submitted that this case fell in the medium range of offending and that a term of imprisonment of four or five years would be appropriate.

Judge Patricia Ryan adjourned the matter for finalisation on Thursday.

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