Australian drug user sentenced to 11 years for killing Dutch cyclist

An Australian named as Michael Panayides  who killed  a 27-year-old Dutch woman in Melbourne in a hit-and-run accident has been sentenced to 11 years.

The woman was cycling in the centre of the city when she was hit by a speeding car which turned out to be stolen. The 26-year-old driver had been on his way to visit a drug dealer.

Gitta Scheenhouwer, from The Hague, was planning to settle in Australia with her boyfriend and had just secured a job as an architect.

Panayides, who fled the scene, admitted he had been using heroin the night before. He was also banned from driving for the next 20 years.

The court case, in the presence of the victim’s boyfriend and relatives, was an ’emotional’ one, local NOS correspondent Eva Gabeler said, with the boyfriend telling Panayides he had ‘destroyed their dream of a future together’.

The sentence took into account that the man head been sentenced before for armed robbery and that the chance he would mend his way were slim, the broadcaster said.

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