No jail for hit-run learner driver who struck toddler at Laverton

By Goya Dmytryshchak

A hit-run learner driver has walked free after leaving an injured toddler on the road at Laverton and driving on to get takeaway food.

Zachery Davin Larkins, 22, was last week given a 12-month community corrections order in the Koori Court.

Larkins, who was driving unaccompanied, had pleaded guilty to failing to stop and render assistance after hitting the boy in Railway Avenue last September.

Two-year-old Damon Michell had run onto the road from his home before his parents could stop him.

He was struck by Larkins’ car and suffered critical injuries and was placed in an induced coma.

After hitting the boy, Larkins drove to Subway at Altona Meadows Central Square shopping centre, where he bought food before abandoning his partner’s Holden Commodore and walking home.

He was arrested a short time later at his Laverton home.

In January, Larkins hired a new lawyer and sought more time to research his Indigenous ancestry so his case could be transferred to the Koori Court.

In sentencing Larkins last Wednesday, magistrate Jelena Popovic said the community found his actions on that evening “morally reprehensible”, AAP reported.

However, she said noted that Larkins’ may have panicked, had taken full responsibility, apologised to the toddler’s mother and was remorseful.

As part of his sentence, Larkins has also been disqualified from driving for four years and was fined $327.