‘Disgusting’ move after parking ranger rammed

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A 22-year-old driver who mowed down a parking ranger after receiving a fine is “disgusted with himself” for not calling an ambulance, a court has heard.

Matthew Valerio faced the NSW District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty in November last year to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and failing to stop and assist after an accident. 

As a result of the collision in November 2022, the ranger was in a coma for two weeks and did not recall the incident when he woke.

Valerio’s lawyer Evan James made submissions to the court before sentencing, telling the court how his client has an “infinite feeling of guilt” about leaving the ranger “on the side of the road in a catastrophic state”.

“He describes himself as a fool,” Mr James said.

“He’s acknowledged full responsibility for what he has done.”

The court heard how Valerio and his friend returned to the car 40 minutes after parking in a no-stopping zone on Marion Street in Enmore to find two council workers fining the car.

Valerio yelled to the rangers “hey hey that’s my car, oh man” before his friend began calling the pair “f**king c***s” and stating “f**k you”.

They both got in the car and did a three-point turn before driving back towards the rangers, hitting one of them. People heard the collision and called emergency services.

Mr James told the court Valerio hitting the man was accidental and done in an effort to avoid them.

He said the boys panicked and drove away from the scene to Valerio’s mother’s house, but because they thought they had caused damage to his car and potentially someone else’s, not because they had hit someone.

“He didn’t know … he did not see the victim prior to the collision,” Mr James said.

“It’s not the case he did nothing at all to avoid the victim.”

The court heard how the ranger suffered “significant” physical injuries – lacerating his liver and suffering traumatic brain and spine injuries as a result of the collision.

The council worker required multiple surgeries and suffered pelvic and rib fractures, as well as screws for his right fractured arm, the court heard.

Mr James made submissions to Judge Kara Shead that it was Valerio’s first offence and that he was a “very young person”.

He also stated that if jail time was to be imposed that Valerio’s time in custody should be taken into consideration.

At the end of the proceedings on Thursday, Valerio waved to friends and family members in court as he was taken away back into custody.

He will be sentenced on May 29.

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