Fam­ily’s fu­ture stolen

Beau­ti­ful life wasted when ice ad­dict crashed into daugh­ter’s car

Herald Sun - - NEWS - WES HOSKING wes.hosking@news.com.au

A YOUNG woman’s fam­ily says their fu­ture has been “de­stroyed” as it was re­vealed the killer ice-ad­dicted driver who crashed a bor­rowed ute into her car had drugs for break­fast.

Jo Han Lim, 33, was on bail­when the ute ploughed into 27year-old Lisa Di Donato’s car out­side Welling­ton Vil­lage shop­ping cen­tre in Rowville on Fe­bru­ary 15 this year.

The much-loved phar­ma­cist — who dreamt of be­com­ing a doc­tor — was stopped at traf­fic lights af­ter at­tend­ing a yoga class. The pros­e­cu­tor told the court Lim’s ac­tions were due to his life­style — telling a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist his hob­bies were golf and drug-tak­ing.

In a vic­tim im­pact state­ment read to the County Court, Ms Di Donato’s mother Elena said her daugh­ter was the “heart and soul” of her fam­ily. “She was the light of my life,’’ she said.

“Her loss has dev­as­tated our fam­ily. I can’t come to terms with how she died. It’s just a waste of her beau­ti­ful life.

“I think of Lisa from the mo­ment I awaken to the mo­ment I close my eyes. My heart breaks Lisa won’t have the life she de­served. She has been robbed of all her po­ten­tial.”

Part­ner Shaun, in his vic­tim im­pact state­ment, told of the cru­elty of los­ing his love of more than a decade.

“It breaks my heart I have lost her and our dreams of life to­gether will never be,’’ he said. “I will never re­cover. “She did not de­serve this.” The cou­ple were due to go on an over­seas hol­i­day and had just moved into a new home where they hoped to raise a fam­ily.

“She was hap­pi­est when she was help­ing some­one,’’ he wrote. “It’s shat­ter­ing for me I can’t see her, talk to her or hold her. I feel cheated and I won­der what we would be do­ing now. I don’t look to the fu­ture any more be­cause my fu­ture has been de­stroyed.”

Lim, who the Sun­day Her­ald Sun in July re­vealed was a banned drug driver with a shock­ing decade-long driv­ing record, buried his head in his hands as Ms Di Donato’s loved ones, in­clud­ing brother David, de­tailed their heart­break.

The court heard Lim — who moved to Aus­tralia from Malaysia at age 13 to live with his mother and step­fa­ther — was with a fel­low drug user at her fa­ther’s home.

“They had break­fast and the pris­oner smoked some ice,’’ pros­e­cu­tor Mark Rochford, QC, told the court.

Lim was driv­ing west on Welling­ton Rd when he swerved to avoid sev­eral sta­tion­ary cars — driv­ing into the shop­ping cen­tre’s en­try lane, mount­ing two traf­fic is­lands and crash­ing into Ms Di Donato’s Mit­subishi Lancer. Af­ter the crash he was seen look­ing into the car but fled to a gym with a back­pack, which was later found to con­tain drugs.

De­fence lawyer Matthew Phillips told the court Lim suf­fered sev­eral brain bleeds dur­ing a 2011 car ac­ci­dent and had a “cog­ni­tive deficit” that af­fected his de­ci­sion mak­ing.

He pleaded guilty to cul­pa­ble driv­ing, pos­sess­ing cannabis and methy­lam­phetamine, driv­ing while disqual­i­fied and com­mit­ting an of­fence on bail. Judge Paul La­cava will sen­tence Lim, who faces up to 20 years’ jail, on a date to be fixed.

Pic­ture: ALEX COP­PEL

Fa­ther Tony, mother Elena and brother David mourn the loss of Lisa Di Donato.

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