Man jailed over pregnant partner's death

·2-min read

A Melbourne man has been jailed after admitting to driving off while his pregnant partner was standing in the back of the car, leaving her fatally injured on the road.

William Wilson, 38, pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including dangerous driving causing the death of his partner Helena Broadbent in 2019, in Victoria's County Court on Friday.

He also admitted to failing to stop and was sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

Ms Broadbent, 32, was trying to remove child safety car seats while standing in the back of the vehicle, when she was flung onto the road as Wilson drove off after they had an argument.

She had been on the phone to triple zero and was concerned about his behaviour, telling operators "he's going to drive off with me and I'm in...the car", the court heard.

Ms Broadbent shouted at her partner, who then drove away from the couple's Keilor Downs home, leaving her injured on the road.

She suffered a brain injury when she fell from the vehicle and died in hospital hours after delivering their baby girl by emergency caesarean at 26 weeks.

Judge Gerard Mullaly said Ms Broadbent's death was "entirely avoidable" as Wilson could have waited until the children's seats were removed, or until she was out of the car, to drive away safely.

"You did not return to where your partner was motionless on the road with what turned out to be fatal injuries," he told the court.

Ms Broadbent's mother said her life was thrown into chaos following her daughter's death, she suffers panic attacks and feels she is not the same person.

"He has destroyed my soul," she said in a statement read to court.

"I became guardian of my three grandchildren, one of them barely surviving and needing intensive medical attention.

"All of this in addition to the massive loss of my beautiful daughter Helena."

Wilson apologised through his lawyers and said the event continued to haunt him.

He has already served 130 days in prison and will be eligible for parole after serving two years and two months.

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