Australia

Maha Al-Shennag pleads not guilty over Sydney school deaths

A file photo of Maha Al-Shennag (left), leaving Bankstown Local Court in 2017. Source: AAP

Two children died after a Toyota SUV ploughed into a Sydney classroom in 2017.

A woman accused of crashing her car into a Sydney primary school, killing two boys, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges but has admitted less serious driving offences.

Jihad Darwiche, aged eight, and his classmate died after a Toyota SUV ploughed into a classroom at Banksia Road Public School in Greenacre in November 2017.

A teacher and 17 children were treated at the scene while three girls were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Maha Al-Shennag
Maha Al-Shennag (second from right) attending court in 2017.
AAP

Maha Al-Shennag, 53, on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to two counts of manslaughter and two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of causing bodily harm by misconduct while driving and dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Al-Shennag, who's on bail, is scheduled to next appear at Parramatta District Court on 6 June.

Shortly after the crash she apologised to the victims after Jihad's father publicly forgave her in a video posted to Facebook.

"Ms Al-Shennag wishes to apologise with all of her heart to Mr Darwiche and to each of the victims, their families and the community in general," her lawyer, Nick Hanna, said in a statement in late 2017.

"Her thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragedy."

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