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‘You are weak and pathetic, you deserve to rot in hell’

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On Friday, family and friends of Sophia Naismith unleashed three years of pent up sadness, fury and grief against Alexander Campbell, the driver of the car which killed the 15-year-old and injured her best friend Jordyn Callea.Campbell was acquitted of causing Sophia’s death by dangerous driving during the crash on June 22, 2019.He pleaded guilty to driving his $330k white Lamborghini Huracan without due care at the side of the crash.In a series of victim impact statements read to the court, the family and friends of Sophia and Jordyn took aim at Campbell’s driving.“You are a gutless coward and have shown a shameful lack of decency,” Pia Grogan, Sophia’s mother, said in a powerful statement read directly to Campbell.“My wish, my dream, my hope was that Sophia lived a full and happy life.“You killed Sophia’s dream, her right to life.“You will always be one of the most reviled people in this state and be remembered for this crime, I will ensure this.“New laws will have your name attached so your community always knows.”Luke Naismith, Sophia’s father, said the death of his eldest daughter had blown his family apart.“I feel like I died that night, I am just walking around in a soulless shell,” he said.“My life and our lives have been thrown into utter turmoil, it will never ever end.“I dread waking up every morning, my first thought is always: this isn’t just a nightmare.“Why should I bother with leaving the house – when I get home I know Sophia will not be there. My heart aches constantly.”Jordyn said she spent the end of 2019 in a wheelchair learning to walk again and grappling with survivor’s guilt.“(Sophia) truly would have changed the world, you have taken the purest soul from the world, but you have left me with the worst feeling in the world – survivor’s guilt – to think that you will never reach the highs of the life that was taken,” she said.“To think this case defines me is heartbreaking.”Sophia died on June 22, 2019 when a driven by Alexander Campbell lost control and left Morphett Rd, Glengowrie.Her best friend and fellow student at Brighton Secondary School, Jordyn, was seriously injured in the crash.She would later say that the last thing she remembered was the car coming at her sideways as it left the road.Campbell had his pregnant partner in the car and was returning with other drivers from a car show in Marion where he had been displaying his car.He was charged with causing harm and death by dangerous driving following the crash as well as aggravated driving without due care.Campbell stood trial in the District Court on the dangerous driving charges after pleading guilty to aggravated driving without due care.During the trial the court heard Campbell lost control after accelerating.His tyres were worn and he had been advised to replace them and he was driving the car without the factory traction control settings turned on.In the hours before the crash he had been seen driving erratically.However, the crux of the trial came down to whether Campbell had accelerated “harshly” or “aggressively” causing the car to lose control.Craig Caldicott, for Campbell, argued that if his client had accelerated normally and had lost control, the charge of dangerous driving could not be made out.In his verdict Judge Muscat said he could not be satisfied that the Campbell applied “harsh acceleration” to the car leading to the crash.He concluded that he could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the acceleration had not been moderate and a conflagration of factors had led to the car sliding sideways.MORE TO COME

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