A drug-affected driver who seriously injured an Adelaide newspaper editor in a high-speed crash in Adelaide’s CBD has been sentenced to more than four years in jail. 

Luigi Gligora had been abusing prescription drugs before he crashed into The Advertiser’s then deputy editor Ben Hyde on West Terrace in October 2021, leaving Mr Hyde with a traumatic brain injury. 

On Monday, Judge Nicolas Alexandrides sentenced Gligora to four years and 13 days in prison with a non-parole period of two years in South Australia’s District Court. 

Judge Alexandrides found Gligora acted in a “deliberate and wilful” manner while driving 110kph over the speed limit, which he described as “simply mind-boggling”.

Gligora had earlier pleaded guilty to aggravated causing serious harm by dangerous driving.

Holden Hill man Luigi Gligora at an earlier hearing after the October 2021 crash.(ABC News: Claire Campbell)

Serious burns and brain injury 

Mr Hyde was driving home from a shift at the newspaper when his car was hit by Gligora, who was driving at 170kph, causing a traumatic brain injury and serious burns.

“Mr Hyde tells the court that your offending has changed his life forever,” the judge said. 

“Mr Hyde says the skin grafts to his arm and torso serve as a constant reminder of how you maimed him and left him for dead.

“He says he will not be able to forgive you for the trauma you caused him and his loved ones.”

The judge recounted the victim impact statements from Mr Hyde’s family and the ongoing impact to them.

“[Mr Hyde] witnessed the devastation of his son who was five years old at the time when he saw his father in hospital,” the judge said.

“Medical professionals have informed him that he will never be able to return to his previous role and it is unlikely he will ever be able to work full-time again.”

In a victim impact statement Mr Hyde said Gligora essentially left him “in a burning car to die.”

My Hyde earlier confronted Gligora in court saying he left him to die, after the crash.(Sophie Holder)

The judge told the court that doctors assessed Gligora to likely be suffering from mental health issues and a self-inflicted, drug-induced psychosis at the time of the offending, and had considered his “apology and genuine remorse” in sentencing.

He was found to have cannabis and weight loss prescription drugs, including phentermine, in his system.

The court heard those prescription drugs were known to mimic the effect of methamphetamine when taken in excess.

Gligora received a discount of more than five per cent for his guilty plea, with his sentence to commence from Monday.

He will also be disqualified from holding a licence for 12 years, calculated from the day he is released from custody.

Victim welcomes sentence

Outside court Mr Hyde said he was both shocked and pleased with the sentence.

“I feel like today was definitely a just outcome, and hopefully a good precedent and a step in the right direction for improving the standards of all road users,” Mr Hyde said.

Ben Hyde supported by his wife outside of court at Gligora’s sentencing.(Olivia Mason)

“We’ve had to do a lot of adjusting … to what we would call the new normal.

“Comparison is the thief of joy – I try not to compare too much to what things were pre-accident – I just try and enjoy every day ahead of us now that we have.”