Brazilian driver admits causing death of north Antrim man
A Brazilian medical student has admitted causing the death of a north Antrim man by careless driving.
With Francis Watson’s fiancée Roisin watching proceedings at Antrim Crown Court, Isabella Sequetto Terror (28) entered a guilty plea to causing his death by driving carelessly on the Drones Road, Ballymoney, on 6 February last year.
The 41-year-old father of three, known as Fra, and who was engaged to be married, died as a result of the injuries he sustained when his VW Golf was in collision with the Kia Picanto being driven by Terror between Cloughmills and Armoy.
Following the fatal two-vehicle collision at around 6.45pm, tributes were paid to Mr Watson who was described as a “fantastic character and a fantastic individual.”
When Terror, with an address at Duque de Caxious, a metropolitan area in Rio and who appeared at court by videolink from her native Brazil admitted her guilt, Judge Patricia Smyth said, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences at this terrible tragedy.”
“These are very, very difficult cases to sentence because first and foremost, no one can being Francis back and there’s no sentence I can pass that can ease your pain,” she told the victim’s relatives and warning them that “the sentence that I pass will be based in very formulaic guidelines from the higher courts.”
“The tragedy of this case is that this was careless driving as opposed to dangerous... the sentence will not reflect in any way the enormity of the loss in this case,” lamented the judge.
Defence QC Neil Connor revealed that Terror is a fully qualified lawyer herself but more recently, “has been working within the health service in Brazil.
He submitted the circumstances of the case are “very tragic but straight forward” and would fall “into the lowest category” of death by careless cases.
“Miss Terror has taken a very responsible attitude in terms of her engagement with this prosecution,” said the senior lawyer adding that she came from a “very respectable family.”
Prosecuting QC John Orr told the court he would take instructions as to where the case falls as regards the prospective sentence and if Terror had to come back for sentencing, the PPS would look at the mechanics of someone travelling back to NI from Brazil in the ongoing pandemic.
Adjourning a review of the case for a week, Judge Smyth said it was “in nobody’s interest for this matter to be prolonged….if I can deal with it in the first week of July, I will deal with it then.”