A motorist who killed a pedestrian while high on cocaine and seconds after he had been using his mobile phone behind the wheel, was jailed for five years on Monday
Andrea Greenidge failed to spot Anthony Farinaro (pictured) was crossing the road ahead of him.
As result his Audi A3 slammed into Mr Farinaro sending him into the air “like a rag doll.”
He died moments later at the scene from multiple injuries.
56 year old Greenidge of Harwoods Road in Watford pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Farinaro by his dangerous driving on the night of October 29 2016.
Mr Farinaro who was 30 and who lived in Watford was returning him on foot after visiting a local pub in Station Road in the town that night.
His route home took him to St Albans Road, Watford described as a duel carriageway.
Wayne Cleaver prosecuting told St Albans Crown Court it was shortly after 10 20pm as Mr Farinaro started to cross the road.
Judge Graham Arran hearing the case was told there was a central reservation between the carriageways, but at the point where Mr Farinaro was crossing there was a “gap in the barrier” to allow pedestrians to make their way to the other side.
The court was told the road was well lit with street lighting and the speed limit for the road which is in a built up part of the town was 30 miles per hour.
Mr Cleaver said the victim crossed the south bound carriageway of the road and reached the gap.
He then set off across the northbound carriageway as Greenidge who was behind the wheel of his Audi A3 was approaching at speed.
The court was told that when he had started to cross the northbound carriageway, Greenidge should have seen him from 106 metres away.
However, as he drove at 46 mph along the road that and having been on his phone he failed to spot the pedestrian with tragic results.
A split second before impact he slammed on the brakes, but it was too late and he struck Mr Farinaro at between 35 and 38mph according to a police accident investigator.
The prosecutor said the victim was thrown into the air, landing on the bonnet of the Audi and striking his head on the windscreen before ending up on the pavement.
Mr Cleaver said: “All was observed by Ruth Archer who was waiting in her car nearby. She said it was as if a rag doll had been flung into the air.
“She got out of her car and went straight to where he lay and provided him with some comfort in the last few seconds of his life.”
The court was told she also called the emergency service from her mobile phone and as she tended to the victim she saw Greenidge walking towards them.
Mr Cleaver said: “He appeared not to have any sense of urgency.”
He said Ruth Archer even though the defendant was on the phone and appeared not to care about what had just happened as he “sauntered” towards her
Judge Arran was told that at the scene the defendant was seen to hand his phone to another man who had arrived as well as a glass bottle which the man smashed.
Fragments of the glass were later tested and found on them were traces of cocaine.
Greenidge himself having been arrested was found to have three times the legal limit of cocaine in his system.
His mobile phone was also examined which revealed how at 10 21pm that night the defendant had taken a call on his mobile which lasted 15 seconds and ended 12 seconds before the collision.
The mother of Mr Farinaro, school teacher Ruth Evans read a statement to the court in which she told how her son’s death had brought suffering for her whole family.
“You cannot realise how many lives you have changed by your reckless, thoughtless actions. For me it feels very much like you killed a family that night.”
She went on: “I have nightmares about how Anthony died and he died on that pavement without comfort from me.”
Mrs Evans also told of her shock when attending one of the first court appearances of Greenidge and on seeing him for the first time realised he was the son of her next door neighbour.
Passing sentence Judge Arran told Greenidge: “He was crossing the road from your right to your left and you should have seen him.”
The judge said he would have seen the victim when he was “approximately 106 metres away.”
He went on “You were using your phone up to 12 seconds before the collision. That may well have caused some distraction.”
The judge said the collision was caused that night by the defendant taking drugs, driving faster than the road permitted, his slow reaction time and “to a certain extent” his use of his mobile phone.
He jailed Greenidge for five years and disqualified him from driving for five and a half years.
The judge also ordered that Ruth Archer be awarded £250 out of public funds in recognition of her actions that night