A Melbourne man will walk free from prison and without a conviction, 68 days after his sister suffered a serious brain injury when she fell from his moving car on the Princes Freeway.
Frustrated magistrate Jon Klestadt said he was left hamstrung after David Fosita, 28, pleaded guilty to relatively minor charges over the injuries to his sister, who spent a month in a coma.
Fosita was behind the wheel, travelling at about 100km/h on the freeway west of Melbourne, when he began arguing with his sister about the death of a family member.
Other motorists told police they saw the passenger door open twice before the woman – fearing for her safety – jumped from the car and into oncoming traffic at Little River about 11.45am on December 11.
Fosita fronted Sunshine Magistrates’ Court on Friday via videolink from Fulham Correctional Centre where he pleaded guilty to four offences, including damaging his sister’s $500 car stereo and failing to answer bail.
Despite the prosecution alleging in December that Fosita was “directly responsible for her being ejected from the car” and indicating further charges were likely once the victim woke from a coma, upgraded charges were never laid.
David Fosita’s sister was flown to hospital, but has no memory of the incident.Credit:Nine News
Klestadt said the charges Fosita ultimately pleaded guilty to were a “long way” from the allegations police aired when the 28-year-old was initially refused bail in court.
In criticising the case against Fosita, Klestadt said the prosecution had also failed to provide the court with any medical documentation about the victim’s injuries or long-term disabilities she may have.
“I am critical of the prosecution case in this court because I have not been provided with any information about the injuries to the victim, although I was told … she was taken to hospital,” Klestadt said.
“I also have no evidence before me of the state of mind of the victim other than I was invited to infer that because of the argument between the accused and the victim … she was in fear for her safety.”
The court heard the pair – two of seven siblings – were travelling along the Princes Freeway towards Geelong when an argument broke out and Fosita became angry that his sister blamed him for the death two months earlier of another sibling.
As Fosita drove his sister’s vehicle, he repeatedly began hitting and then breaking the car radio in a fit of rage before the victim told him she wanted to get out of the car.
Witnesses said that as the car continued to travel between Werribee and Little River, the front passenger door opened twice before the victim appeared to fall from the vehicle and onto the road.
Fosita was arrested at the scene and the woman flown to hospital in a critical condition where she remained in an induced coma until mid-January. She has no memory of the incident.
Her brother was remanded in custody after police alleged his sister fled the car when she became fearful of his behaviour.
David Fosita being arrested on the Princes Freeway in December.Credit:Nine News
During Fosita’s failed bid for bail in December, magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg found he posed a safety risk and remanded him in custody. At the time, Rozencwajg said: “If it turns out she jumped out of the car, it’s an indication of how fearful and anxious she was about the accused.”
On Friday, Klestadt sentenced Fosita to an 18-month community corrections order without conviction. He also ordered Fosita undertake assessment and treatment for alcohol abuse and his mental health.
The magistrate also noted the time Fosita has spent in custody on remand was excessive for the offences he pleaded guilty to.
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