Jerome Bodden jailed for driving fatalities

Jerome Earle Bodden, 23, was taken into custody on Friday after Justice Nigel Meeson said jail was the only appropriate sentence for his offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

The judge adjourned sentencing until today at 1.30pm.

Bodden had pleaded guilty last year to causing two deaths by his dangerous driving on Saturday morning, 11 March 2006 along Shamrock Road.

His speed was calculated at between 102 and 112 mph when he collided with a stationary truck.

His passenger, Iliana De La Cruz, was pronounced dead at the scene. Iliana, 18, was well known as Miss Teen 2004-05.

The other fatality involved a passenger in the back of the truck. Mr. Angelo Luciano, 22, was taken to hospital. He never regained consciousness and died two days later.

After Bodden’s guilty pleas in April 2007, sentencing was adjourned because he was undergoing medical treatment for his injuries from the incident.

Defence attorney Ben Tonner said Bodden had lost his right eye and part of the frontal lobe of his brain and every bone on his face was broken. Bodden’s left leg was crushed and every time he came to court he was in a wheel chair.

Crown Counsel Nicola Moore, who presented details of the accident, told the court that the Governor of Northward Prison had indicated in December 2007 that the prison would not accept anyone confined to a wheelchair.

Medical reports in January and April 2008 indicated Bodden was unable to walk without a frame and could not bear weight at all.

However, she continued, covert surveillance indicated this simply was not the case. He was seen moving unaided and walking without favouring his injured leg. He was also seen carrying a bucket, broom and spade. ‘The Crown asserts he has been exaggerating his level of disability,’ she said.

With all the various material to consider, and other matters to be dealt with, Justice Meeson postponed Bodden’s sentence.

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