Mary Touma died when Daniel Wood shoved her on a footpath and she fell backwards and hit her head.
Mary Touma died when Daniel Wood shoved her on a footpath and she fell backwards and hit her head.
A man who killed a Sydney grandmother by shoving her over because she "got in my way" has been sentenced to five years' jail over the "unprovoked, callous and gratuitous" act.
Daniel Paul Wood, of Walgett, was in Sydney to undertake 50 hours of community service for drink driving when he rode his bicycle up behind 71-year-old Mary Touma as she walked on a footpath beside Gardeners Road at Eastlakes on May 21, 2010.
Mrs Touma, the mother of former NRL player Joe Thomas, was walking home after spending the morning working in her son's delicatessen.
Intoxicated, and incensed that Mrs Touma hadn't got out of his way, Wood got off his bike and began screaming and swearing at her.
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Residents in a a nearby unit block then saw Woods walk up to the elderly woman and push her violently in the chest.
She fell backwards, her head slamming into the concrete as she hit the ground.
Mrs Touma suffered severe head injuries, including a large brain haemorrhage that claimed her life.
"The bitch got in my way," Wood reportedly told a bystander after the incident.
In sentencing Wood to a maximum of six years and eight months' jail with a minimum non-parole period of five years, judge Michael King told the Downing Centre District Court that Wood must have known the harm his actions could cause.
"It must have been patently evident, when he alighted from his bicycle and walked the 10 metres back to confront her, that Mrs Touma was an elderly, vulnerable female going about her ordinary, daily life," Judge King said.
"She was entitled to expect that she would not be confronted or assaulted in the manner that she was.
"[Wood's] conduct was unprovoked, callous and gratuitous, and of such force as to cause Ms Touma to fall back and strike her head on the concrete."
Wood was initially charged with murder but in November last year he was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of felonious slaying, a category of manslaughter.
Judge King said the "belated" nature of this plea, coming two-and-a-half years after the crime, and Woods' subsequent attempts to withdraw it, "greatly reduced its utility".
A large contingent of Mrs Touma's extended family, including former Manly Sea Eagles forward David Gillespie and some of her 13 grandchildren and six children, watched as the sentence was handed down.
Many were in tears as Judge King described Mrs Touma's "selfless" contribution to her family and the community, which included reading to children at her local primary school and requesting that her organs be donated after death.
"At 71, she was entitled to expect that she might live out the balance of her life with the comfort and support of her extended family," the judge said.
The court heard that Wood had had a difficult upbringing and had started using drug and binge drinking at an early age. He had battled with depression which had resulted in an overdose attempt.
However, the 34-year-old had not given "any indication or any expression of remorse or contrition" for his crime. During an interview with a psychologist he had attempted to "in part lay the blame for his conduct on the deceased" by claiming that she had "nearly pushed me onto Gardeners Road".
With time served, Wood will be eligible for parole in November 2016.