The Malta Independent 22 July 2024, Monday
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Driver given suspended sentence after admitting to killing pedestrian at 140km/hr

Monday, 20 November 2023, 13:07 Last update: about 9 months ago

A dangerous driver who killed a pedestrian he hit while driving a sportscar at 140km/hr along the Gżira seafront has received a suspended sentence for involuntary homicide and a two-year driving ban after changing his plea to guilty

47-year-old Anthony Chircop was handed a two-year  prison sentence, suspended for four years for killing Stephanie Rapa, a 30-year-old pharmacist, during the evening of October 19, 2017.

Rapa was struck by Chircop’s Nissan GT-R while she had been crossing the road. Tyre marks on the road showed that the car had started braking 44 metres before the impact, which court experts ascertained had happened at 140km/hr.

The incident had been captured on several CCTV cameras, and eyewitnesses had told the court that they had seen the victim being catapulted into the air on the central strip and then landing head first on the ground. The car’s windscreen had been shattered and its airbags deployed by the impact.

Chircop was sentenced after reversing his initial plea of not guilty and filing an admission of guilt, instead.

In addition to the suspended sentence, Magistrate Astrid May Grima imposed a €11,646 fine and ordered the car to be confiscated. Chircop has now been banned from driving for two years, and was ordered to pay €3,800 in court costs.

In January this year, Chircop had been ordered to pay Rapa’s heirs €324,000 in compensation in a civil suit for damages, after a court ruled that his recklessness had caused the woman’s death.

That compensation was later doubled on appeal, with the court of appeal declaring that Chircop bore sole responsibility for the fatal accident.

Police Inspector Jonathan Ransley prosecuted. Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri assisted Chircop.

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