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Australian given suspended sentence for accidentally killing girlfriend in jetski crash

ABC News logo ABC News 23/03/2017
Thomas Keating and Emily Collie © ABC News: Twitter Thomas Keating and Emily Collie

An Australian man who pleaded guilty to accidentally killing his girlfriend in a jetski crash says he is looking forward to returning home to pay his respects to her family.

A court in the resort town of Phuket gave Thomas Keating a suspended one-year sentence and a $190 fine for reckless driving causing the death of Emily Collie.

"I respect the judge's decision, and am grateful that the sentence was suspended," said Mr Keating, in a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

"This was a very difficult process for me … but the heartbreak that Emily's parents, Ian and Sallie Collie, are going through right now is infinitely and incomparably more difficult," said the 22-year-old.

"I am heartbroken over Emily's loss as well, and look forward to going back to Australia and paying my deepest and most loving respects to her and her family on our home soil." The couple had rented jetskis during a holiday in Thailand but crashed at high speed, possibly due to glare from the afternoon sun.

Emilie Collie, 22, sustained serious injuries and an autopsy found the cause of death was drowning.

Mr Keating will be able to leave Thailand in the next few days, once the paperwork is complete.

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