A convicted paedophile who killed a toddler in a hit-and-run crash in Adelaide’s south-west has been sentenced to four years and seven months in prison.
- Two-year-old Zayne Colson was killed when he was hit by a car driven by Michael Craig Bullock
- Bullock was found guilty of aggravated driving without due care and has been sentenced to more than four years’ prison
- He previously told the court he thought he had hit a ball
Michael Craig Bullock, 54, was found guilty by a District Court jury earlier this year of aggravated driving without due care and leaving an accident scene after causing death.
Bullock has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1984.
He has convictions for multiple child sex offences, including unlawful sexual intercourse with a six-year-old girl.
Two-year-old Zayne Colson had been playing with his two older sisters outside his family’s Dover Gardens when he was fatally stuck by Bullock’s car in February, 2017.
Zayne was dragged underneath the car for a few metres before Bullock drove off — leaving the toddler lying unconscious on the road.
He died from his injuries about an hour later.
During the trial, Bullock argued that he saw a little girl run out from behind a tree and thought he had hit a ball that she was chasing.
He said he panicked when he saw a child lying on the road so he drove to his home, which was about 80 metres down the road.
The court heard his wife called triple-zero a short time after Bullock arrived home and they both spoke to the operator.
In the call, which was played to the jury, Bullock said he “just ran over a kid” and that he did not stop because people were yelling and “it wasn’t safe”.
Judge Paul Cuthbertson ordered him to serve a non-parole period of three years, eight months.
Toddler ‘touched a lot of hearts’
In a victim impact statement previously read to the court, Zayne’s mother Chantelle Young said her son was loved by so many.
“Zayne touched a lot of hearts in the short time he was alive, whether it be at kindy, school or just at the playground, everyone adored him,” she said.
“Zayne was a very energetic, cheeky little man, who loved cars … and especially Thomas the Tank Engine.”
Judge Cuthbertson said Bullock had a history of serious offending dating back to 1984 including a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a six-year-old girl.
He has also previously been sentenced for possessing child pornography, indecent assault, serious criminal trespass and theft.
“Here before you there is just one more group of people who have suffered grievously as a consequence of you being on this earth,” Judge Cuthbertson said.
Zayne’s mother Chantelle Young carries an urn containing Zayne’s ashes. (ABC News: Rebecca Opie)
‘Bullock can rot in hell’
Zayne’s mother brought an urn containing her son’s ashes with her to the hearing.
Outside court, Zayne’s aunt Cindy Agius described the sentence as disgusting.
“I hope he rots in there and doesn’t come out,” she said.
Zayne’s other aunt Tania Kearney said justice had not been served.
“He’s a weak piece of shit. It’s a two year-old kid, you hit anybody you stop,” she said.
“How can you think a two-year-old kid is a ball bouncing under your car, leaving my nephew’s nappy embedded on the road?
“That’s what we remember of our Zayne. We will never see that smile again.
“Bullock can rot in hell and I hope karma is swift and I hope karma is cruel.”
Bullock’s non-parole period was backdated to when he was taken into custody in February, making him eligible for release in October 2022.