Mum-to-be in tears as partner jailed for friend's death

KRYSTAL Veselcic couldn't stop her tears as she rubbed her baby belly outside the Maroochydore District Court room.

Moments before, her partner Dimitrios Boubaris was sentenced to three months' jail for the death of his work mate and good friend Ashley Martinali in a truck crash two years ago.

Ms Veselcic had been in a relationship with Martinali and, after his tragic passing, took solace in the comfort of his friend.

The new couple's baby is due within days, but expectant father Boubaris won't be around for the birth.

Boubaris, now 29, was driving a cement pumping truck on the Bruce Hwy in June, 2012, when a "momentary and brief lapse of attention" caused the truck to cross the audible white lines and roll down an embankment.

Mr Martinali, 24, was thrown from the truck and trapped underneath. He died at the scene.

A blood test showed Boubaris had 0.54 mg/kg of methamphetamine in his system - enough to suggest his driving would have been impaired.

However, the court heard his driving was "unremarkable" in the minutes before the crash - he was "not weaving, you were maintaining a standard distance in a line of traffic".

A statement written by Ashley's mother, Joy Martinali, said the two were best mates and her wish was "that he doesn't have to serve any time in prison".

She and Boubaris's mother held hands in the public gallery as Judge David Andrews delivered his sentence.

Judge Andrews accepted that Boubaris's inattention "was brief" but added he was "driving with the knowledge you had ingested methamphetamine and (was) prepared while driving to expose others to the risk".

He also noted that Boubaris had a poor driving history - including speeding and crossing solid white lines - that continued well after the death of his friend.

Boubaris was sentenced to 18 months' jail, to be suspended after three months for two and a half years.

Outside the court room, Ms Veselcic was told she would probably get to see her partner again in a week - but their baby is expected to be born before then.



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