Man snorted cocaine and downed vodka before knocking down and killing toddler

Ciaran Lane and Venessa Siatka
Ciaran Lane and Venessa Siatka

A man who knocked down and killed a toddler in the Phoenix Park has been jailed for five years.

Ciaran Lane, of Ashington Avenue, Cabra, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing the death of 23-month-old Venessa Siatka at Ratra Triangle, Phoenix Park on April 6, 2015.

He was jailed for seven years with the last two years suspended and given a 20 year driving ban.

Little Venessa was a month short of her second birthday when she was hit by a car near the Ashtown Gate on Easter Monday last year.

In the aftermath of Venessa's death, her heartbroken dad Lukasz Siatka (32) said she "went to the angels" in her mother's arms.

"She was a happy, healthy and smiley little girl. If I had a bad day in work it all disappeared when I walked through the door. She made our troubles disappear," he said.

An inquest into Venessa's death heard last May that she suffered severe head injuries in the incident.

She died in the early hours of the following morning (7 April) at Temple Street Hospital.

Venessa was with her mother, Katarzyna, also known as Kasia, when the tragedy happened.

"They had gone to the park with a friend and another child when she was knocked down," said Mr Siatka.

Passers-by rushed to the aid of the little girl and her mother, and called emergency services.

Paramedics battled to save Venessa and she was rushed to Temple Street Hospital with critical head and internal injuries, but passed away a short time later.

"I got a phone call and went straight to the hospital. I had been told Venessa was badly hurt and then when I saw Kasia I knew how bad it was," said Mr Siatka.

He said doctors at Temple Street told them there was no chance Venessa would survive.

"Waiting was the worst thing. Waiting and not being able to do anything," he added. "Then at 1.28am Venessa died in Kasia's arms. She went to the angels."