Australian teen dragged by car and left in gutter after drug deal goes awry
A young Australian man, who dragged a teenager alongside his car and then left her for dead in a gutter, allegedly told a friend: "Yeh I done that b...., she deserves it and that's what happens when you don't pay up."
Sydney teen Samantha Giufre, then 18, was left with critical injuries after she was dragged by a car for several metres, before she was thrown to the road after a drug deal went badly wrong in September 2014.
Fighting for her life in intensive care – receiving treatment for multiple fractures to her skull and face, along with brain damage – Giufre was unable to tell police what happened, and it was six months later that the driver was charged.
Bashar Hawchar, now 20, was due to go on trial in Campbelltown District Court on Monday, but instead entered a guilty plea to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
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According to an agreed statement of facts, on the day of the incident Giufre went to a bus stop near Casula High School on Myall Road with her cousin after organising via Facebook to buy cannabis.
As Giufre leaned into the rear window of Hawchar's car to speak to the man she had arranged the drug deal with, Hawchar started to drive the car down the road at a speed witnesses described as "fast".
There was animosity between Hawchar and Giufre due to a possible drug debt that she owed to him.
"The victim gripped onto the car as the vehicle moved. Witnesses saw the car travel some distance down the road with the victim's body and legs hanging from the open window being dragged along the roadway," the facts state.
When the car reached the intersection of Myall Road and Ingham Drive, Giufre was thrown from the car onto the roadway and rolled into the gutter. Hawchar, according to the facts, did not slow down.
The man who arranged the drug deal and was inside the car said he heard a "boom or bang" and felt a bump as Giufre fell from the car.
A driver travelling behind the car pulled over to help Ms Giufre. She remained in hospital for more than three months and suffered multiple cranial and facial fractures, brain damage, hearing loss and blindness.
She can not remember the crash or meeting for drugs, but does remember being at a bus stop near the public high school.
The Crown alleges that in the month following the incident, Hawchar was asked by a friend on Facebook: "Did you here [sic] what happened to Sam?".
"Yeh I done that b....," Hawchar allegedly replied. "She deserves it and that's what happens when you don't pay up."
Hawchar, now 20, disputes this, but the Crown says it intends to introduce evidence of the conversation.
As well as pleading guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, Hawchar admitted to not disclosing the identity of driver or passenger and failing to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing previous bodily harm.
Hawchar's bail was continued and he is due to be sentenced in February.
Giufre told a Fairfax local paper last year she felt lucky to be alive.
"I'm blind in one eye and I've got limited vision in the other eye," she said. "I've got hearing loss in one ear, I can't smell out of one side of my nose and my face [is] shattered so now I have plates in my face," she said.
"I'm constantly fighting to be here."
Her mother, Karen, said her daughter, who had studied a course in horticulture and had plans to start her own business, would need to take medication for the rest of her lifer.
"They've totally taken her life from her," Karen said.
"She'll never be the way that she was. Her future plans have been taken."
- Sydney Morning Herald