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found guilty Fiancée of Irishman killed in OZ pile up says sentence for death driver was “better than nothing”

Francis Omigie (55) was found guilty by a jury of dangerous driving occasioning death, and failing to stop and assist in May 2019.

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Francis Omigie

Francis Omigie

Francis Omigie

The fiancée of an Irishman who was killed in a catastrophic pile up in Australia has said a sentence handed down to a man who caused the crash was “better than nothing”.

Francis Shanley (36), from Leitrim died in the collision, when Francis Omigie changed lanes on the busy M4 Motorway in Sydney and suddenly stopped so he wouldn’t miss his exit, causing truck to crash into the Irishman’s Ute vehicle as well as other collisions.

Francis Omigie (55) was found guilty by a jury of dangerous driving occasioning death, and failing to stop and assist in May 2019.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years but will be eligible for parole in two years and two months.

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Francis Shanley and fiancee Broc Nicholson

Francis Shanley and fiancee Broc Nicholson

Francis Shanley and fiancee Broc Nicholson

Mr Shanley’s fiancée Broc Nicholson reacted to the sentencing this week with a post on Facebook page.

She wrote: “Better than nothing,” adding a disappointed face emoji. Speaking about Mr Shanley she wrote: “You can now rest peacefully.”

The judge at Omigie’s sentencing hearing Judge Jane Culver showed a "selfish disregard" for other motorists.

“The court extends its condolences to Ms Nicholson for the loss of her fiancée,” Judge Culver said. “This matter is a tragedy. No sentence can ever be a measure of human life, nor the suffering caused by the loss of human life.”

Omigie said he was extremely remorseful about what happened that that.

“I wish I never got out of bed that day,” Francis Omigie said.

However, the court also heard that when he was arrested, he told cops that he stopped because he lost power in his car and was attempting to move it off the road. Examinations revealed now fault with the vehicle and Judge Culver said he was motivated to stop by a belated attempt to get his usual exit for convenience and not due to a defect in his car.

She also said his claims that he didn’t stop were because did not realise carnage was unfolding behind him was not believable.

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She pointed out one of the other drivers described the noise as louder than a demolition derby.

The court also heard how he sent a message to his wife after the incident saying: “I’ve had three near miss accident today because of trauma. I am not even there yet. I better move on with my life before I end up dead.”

Omigie lied about the messages during his trial.

“It didn't happen, I just sent it just to have sympathy that's all,” he explained

Other aggravating factors include Omigie, who crossed five lanes of traffic, failing to heed repeated warning signs of loud horns and flashing lights from another driver while dangerously merging.

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