Family shattered by sentence after pharmacist’s death

legal law case justice crime

A man who smoked ice before breakfast, and then killed a young pharmacist on the road, has been sentenced to eight years in prison

Pharmacist Lisa Di Donato was waiting at a red light at Rowville, Melbourne when Jo Lim – who was on bail at the time for other driving offences – smashed a ute into her car.

The 27-year-old pharmacist, on her way back from a yoga class, was killed instantly.

The ABC reports that Mr Lim had a significant history of driving offences, including 22 traffic infringement notices for speeding between 2003 and 2016.

Seven of these notices were recorded on the same day in 2013. Of those, four were for speeding by more than 30 kilometres an hour.

At the time he killed Ms Di Donato, he was disqualified from driving. He had sustained a brain injury in 2011 from involvement in another motor vehicle accident.

He also had a significant history of drug offences.

Mr Lim drove the borrowed ute at more than 80km an hour into the Rowville intersection. After the crash, he left the accident scene, though returned not long afterwards.

He has been sentenced to a maximum of eight years for offences including culpable driving causing death, and could be paroled after five years.

While Mr Lim is a permanent resident of Australia, he remains a Malaysian national and could be deported after he is released. He has also been given a life ban from driving.

Judge Paul Lacava said that Mr Lim’s driving record was “appalling” and that he should not have been behind the wheel on the day he killed the young pharmacist.

Mr Lim would have received a heavier sentence had he not pleaded guilty, the judge said.

Ms Di Donato was a “decent, hard-working woman with a loving partner and family, who was admired and loved by all,” he said.

Her mother, Elena, told reporters outside the Court that the family was “shattered” by the sentence, and that the family would soon be forgotten – “and some other poor family will go through exactly what we’re going through”.

“Today I’m just going to go home and be sad because in x amount of years he walks out free and we’ll never be free, and our loss and pain will always be with us,” the Age reported.

Readers who are distressed can contact the Pharmacists’ Support Service on 1300 244 910.

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