20 April 2023

Driver was revving car to show off to friends before he severed man's toe

| Albert McKnight
man holding phone outside court

Matheus Almeida Magalhes, 22, leaves court after his sentencing on Wednesday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A driver was revving his car to show off to his friends when he slipped it into reverse and ended up severing a man’s toe, a special magistrate has said.

It was early in the morning of 27 November 2021 and Matheus Almeida Magalhes was out with a group of friends and colleagues when he jumped into his parked vehicle in a car park off London Circuit in Civic, court documents say.

Almeida Magalhes wanted to rev his engine so the group could hear the new exhaust system that had recently been installed.

He tried to put his car’s gears into neutral while revving it but instead put it into reverse, sending it flying backwards.

The victim tried to jump out of the way, but Almeida Magalhes’ car hit him and he ended up wedged between it and a parked vehicle.

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The car continued to accelerate in reverse and grated across his legs, severing the third toe on one of his feet.

He was later taken to hospital where two of his other toes had to be surgically repaired.

Almeida Magalhes pleaded guilty to charges of causing grievous bodily harm by a negligent act and drink driving. He appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court for sentencing on Wednesday (19 April).

Special Magistrate Dr Gregor Urbas described the incident as a “freak occurrence” that was unlikely to be repeated.

He said the injuries to the victim were “somewhat gruesome” but were not incapacitating, and noted how the victim had given a character reference for Almeida Magalhes asking for leniency.

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A court duty report said the 22-year-old, who works in the construction sector, was at low risk of reoffending.

The special magistrate also said he had a generally remorseful attitude and had no criminal history.

Almeida Magalhes was convicted, fined $600, disqualified from driving for three months and sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour order with 50 hours of community service.

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