The family of Gitta Scheenhouwer travelled to Melbourne to see 28-year-old Michael Panayides sentenced for causing her death. Panayides was on his way to buy drugs and travelling at twice the speed limit in a stolen Mercedes-Benz when he hit Ms Scheenhouwer, 27.
Panayides ran away, before later pleading guilty to culpable driving causing Ms Scheenhouwer’s death. He will serve a minimum of eight-and-a-half years, with the prosecutor labelling his driving as “incomprehensible”. The judge said: “It’s a serious case of negligent culpable driving emanating from blatant disregard for the life and safety of others on the road.
“Failing to stop in these circumstances is a despicable and cowardly act.
“Mr Panayides, each of your victims has had a profound, senseless, needless loss at your hands.”