No jail for running over footy player's head
A TEENAGER who put the brakes on a 15-year-old Darwin's girl's fledgling footy career by running over her head in his car will not see the inside of a jail cell.
Camden Wilkinson, 19, was found guilty by a Supreme Court jury of dangerous driving causing serious harm after the girl fell out of his car while he was doing circlework at the carpark near the Rapid Creek footbridge last year.
The girl suffered multiple facial fractures and a broken spine and in a victim impact statement tendered to the court said she wished Wilkinson would "acknowledge that what you have done was your fault which has caused her to suffer and be in pain".
"She says she had a passion for playing AFL football for the Wanderers Football Club and tried to get back this season to play but she now realises she's not going (to be able) to do that," Justice Dean Mildren said.
"(She says) 'I've tried to be the bigger person sometimes and tried to forgive Camden mentally but it's been a challenge for me'.
"'If he would have pleaded guilty I think things could have taken another approach and I would have felt so much better about myself and Camden included but that is not the case'."
But Justice Mildren elected not to send Wilkinson to jail after a medical report indicated his autism and other conditions meant prison "could have devastating consequences" for him.
"(The doctor) says the environment of prison in which he is not able to withdraw from others at a time of his own volition (and) the interaction and aggression of other prisoners is tendency towards sensory overload and he's expressed suicidal ideation and risk if he were to be cooped up," he said.
Justice Mildren said while Wilkinson had no intention of causing the girl any injury when he performed the reverse doughnut he had "no empathy" for his victim but that could be explained by his autism.
"(The girl) has found it hard to understand why you have no empathy for her," he said.
"Perhaps if she were to understand that because of your autism and other problems empathy is not something you are easily able to express she may feel differently."
In sentencing Wilkinson to four months' home detention, Justice Mildren warned him it was "not a soft option" and his 1-year suspended sentence would be restored if he breached his conditions.