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Dylan Cassidy: Ice-addict hoon crashed car, left friends to die

The Advertiser 2020-08-20 08:40:00

An unlicensed hoon was high on ice when he crashed a stolen Commodore and killed two passengers before he fled the scene in Melbourne’s southeast.

Dylan Cassidy, 20, was jailed for up to 11 years over the fatal crash at Cranbourne in August 2019 after he spent weeks on an ice-fuelled crime spree.

“This was absolutely appalling, incredibly dangerous offending,” Victorian County Court Judge Liz Gaynor said on Thursday.

Cassidy’s friends Jordy Kirkwood, 20, and Byron Hampton, 16, were passengers in the car’s back seat and died at the scene of the crash.

Another two passengers survived, an 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, but she was left with lifelong injuries including to her spine.

Instead of stopping to help his injured and dying friends, Cassidy started to run before he grabbed a stash of drugs from the car and fled again. Witnesses chased after the driver and held him until police arrived at the scene.

He was speeding at 102 km when he lost control of the car along the South Gippsland Highway at Cranbourne, veered onto the median strip and went flying onto the wrong side of the road.

He slammed into a small SUV, driven by a mum with her two young daughters in the back seat. The woman was injured and remembers hearing her children screaming for her.

“There was a real chance … of even more death and even more serious injury,” Judge Gaynor said.

“This was truly terrible, dangerous offending”.

The mother of Byron Hampton was “clearly devastated” by the loss of her tall, gentle boy and struggled to come to terms with the loss, Judge Gaynor said.

In the lead-up to the August crash Cassidy was described as a “one-man crime spree” by his lawyer, which was fuelled by his ice use.

The judge considered his drug use, disadvantaged background and guarded prospects of rehabilitation when handing down her sentence.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of culpable driving causing death, reckless conduct endangering life, three charges of negligently causing serious injury, theft and other charges.

He was jailed for 11 years but must serve at least eight years before he is eligible for parole.

Originally published as ‘Appalling’: Ice addict left friends to die