A man who ran over and killed his elderly father during one of their weekly visits to his mother’s Sydney grave has been sentenced to 150 hours community service.


John Giannasca, 60, stood motionless as Magistrate Gary Still told him he wouldn’t be going to jail while sentencing him at Burwood Local Court on Thursday.

In June, Giannasca pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning death over the December 2014 accident, in which he ran over his father, who stumbled and fell in front of the car at Rookwood Cemetery.

It wasn’t the first time Giannasca was before the court charged over the death of a family member.

In 2012 he was acquitted over the murder of his wife Carmel, whose body has never been found.

Mrs Giannasca was 33 when she went missing on or around January 12, 2002.

Giannasca was supported by his new wife and son in court on Thursday, where lawyer David Giddy said Giannasca was close to his 86-year-old father, particularly since the death of his mother.

Tragically, on their last outing to her grave, Giannasca hit the wrong pedal in his Honda Accord while going to help his father Antonio, who had stumbled on uneven ground near the front of the car.

“He panicked and slammed his foot on the accelerator,” Mr Giddy said.

The car lurched forward and Antonio was dragged 12 metres and had his back wedged against a tyre.

He died at the scene.

Mr Still described the case as horrible and said Giannasca cared deeply for his father.

“It is probably not the function of the court to punish a son, who through his negligence caused the death of his father,” he said.

“If the vehicle had been left in park or neutral then the offender would not be here and this accident would not have occurred.”

As well as having to complete community service, the engineer, who drives long distances for work on renewable energy projects, has lost his licence for two years.

Police were happy with the sentence against Giannasca, Detective Sergeant Martha Winch told reporters outside the court.

She also asked for a person who had contacted Crime Stoppers over an ongoing investigation to get in touch with authorities again, but wouldn’t say if it was in relation to Carmel Giannasca’s disappearance.

Neither Giannasca or his family spoke to waiting media.

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