Barry John Reidy, 56, faced a sentence hearing in Downing Centre District Court after being convicted at a jury trial earlier this year of dangerous driving occasioning death following the fatal incident at Doonside on March 31, 2020.
Reidy, a council worker, was behind the wheel when his truck hit and killed 61-year-old Dani Gordon as she crossed the road in the western Sydney suburb.
On Friday, Reidy told the court he had to accept the jury’s verdict.
“I’m so sorry for what’s happened. If I could take it back I’d take it back in a heartbeat,” he said, choking back tears, to friends and family of Ms Gordon in court.
“It was purely a terrible accident.”
Reidy’s barrister, Sophie Walsh, urged Judge Sharon Harris not to impose a custodial sentence on her client for what she termed his “momentary inattention” behind the wheel, which caused Ms Gordon’s death.
In her submissions, she said Reidy, an experienced garbage truck driver, was going 30km/h in a 60km/h zone in a dark, narrow street with no footpaths when the incident occurred in the early morning.
She pointed to the truck’s dash cam picking up Ms Gordon for only 0.88 second before the fatal collision.
The barrister argued Reidy was a man of good character from an impoverished background who was committed to the local community and his family, and had developed a “major depressive disorder” after Ms Gordon’s death.
“He will continue to suffer as a result of what occurred,” Ms Walsh said.
She conceded that while it was a “very serious matter” the appropriate punishment for Reidy was a lengthy community service order.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Isaacs, in his argument, noted there was no guilty plea from Reidy to take into account and that the incident took place in a residential street that the driver was familiar with.
Earlier, Ms Gordon’s widower, Graham Wilson, read a victim impact statement to the court, recalling how he went into shock at the scene of the incident.
“I felt my heart was being ripped out of my body,” Mr Wilson said.
He said he held onto the good times that the pair had together, would always remember the moment he met Ms Gordon and still spoke to a photo of her in the house they had shared.
“I struggle to get out of bed every day,” he said.
Judge Harris adjourned the matter to October 6 for sentence.