• Zayne Colson, was killed in a hit-run in February 2017. His mother remembers hims as "so cheeky and lovable." (Supplied. )Source: Supplied.
At a pre-sentencing hearing for her son's killer this week, a mother says her surviving children have been left "extremely traumatised" after they witnessed Michael Craig Bullock run over their youngest brother and leave him for dead.
Douglas Smith

23 Aug 2019 - 9:52 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2019 - 11:17 AM

On the morning two-year-old Zayne Colson was killed in a hit and run, the toddler's mother Chantelle Young said her son acted differently, as though he knew "something was gonna happen." 

Talking exclusively to NITV News this week, Ms Young said she noticed something particularly different about her son on the day of his death, as he was being more affectionate than usual.

“The morning that it happened, he woke up – it’s just like he knew something was gonna happen that day, he was hugging me and kissing me all morning.

“It was weird because he never did that a lot – but when he did it that morning, he did it so much.

“I even had to try and get him off me because he was clinging to me and kissing me and loving me,” she said.

Zayne was playing with his two older sisters, Makayla and Kaitlyn, in the front yard of their Dover Garden’s home in Adelaide’s south when he was run over and left for dead by Michael Craig Bullock, in February 2017.

In February this year, Bullock was found guilty by a district court jury for one aggravated count of driving without due care and leaving the scene of an accident.

Since Zayne's death, Ms Young says his surviving siblings have struggled with the trauma of it all. In addition to two of them witnessing it happen, another two ran to the scene of the tragedy only moments after.

“Makayla and Kaitlyn witnessed it – the lot,” she said. “Aylee and Terrell saw Zayne after I had run outside and seen him.”

Ms Young said her youngest son’s death has also driven her 11-year-old daughter to seek professional help.

“She just finished seeing a psychiatrist and she didn’t like going to school after it happened. She had anxiety attacks during her netball games,” said Ms Young.

And Zayne's twin sister still pretends her brother is around.

“She tends to talk about him a lot,” Ms Young said. “When she’s playing a game, she’ll include him and say things like, ‘Zayne can sit there,' or 'this is Zayne’s’.

“She just includes him in everything because she misses him, because he was just so cheeky and loveable.

“I remember when he first started saying 'mum' and he wouldn’t stop saying it. It was the most precious moment ever,' she said.

During sentencing submission earlier this week, prosecutors read a victim impact statement on behalf of Ms Young.

"I wonder how someone could drive off and leave him, my baby, to die," the statement read. "This is a life sentence for my kids and I.

"He didn't deserve to die like that.

"You killed a two-year-old defenceless little boy, my baby Zayne, and you acted like his life didn't matter."

Prosecutor Rebecca Gray said Bullock immediately left the scene and returned to his nearby home, where his wife contacted emergency services.

Bullock testified he was traveling about 35 km/h on the residential street when he swerved to miss one of Zayne's sisters and felt something under his wheels but "just thought it was a ball".

On Monday, his defence counsel read an apology letter to the court written by him.

"It is unimaginable to think about what you are going through every moment of every day," the letter said.

"I know that your family will never accept my apology and for that I understand.

"I am truly sorry for your loss."

However, Ms Young told NITV News she did not accept the apology because she was "disgusted" that he pleaded not guilty.

"I couldn't live with injuring someone or killing someone - that's just disgusting to think that someone could plead not guilty and think they didn't do anything wrong," she said.

In 2004, Bullock was sentenced to nine years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to crimes including unlawful sexual intercourse with a six-year-old child.

Since then, he has also spent time in jail for the indecent assault of a 16-year-old girl and two counts of possessing child pornography.

Bullock has been remanded in custody for sentencing next month.

Paedophile who killed Aboriginal toddler in hit-run found guilty
A South Australian man has been found guilty of charges relating to a hit-run crash that killed a two-year-old boy.