News Crime Killer Melbourne driver arrested in India

Killer Melbourne driver arrested in India

puneet dean hofstee
Puneet Puneet, pictured in 2009, will be extradited to Australia.
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The killer driver who fled to India after admitting he caused the death of student Dean Hofstee more than a decade ago has been arrested.

Puneet Puneet was released on bail after he admitted hitting and killing the pedestrian, and seriously injuring his friend Clancy Coker, while speeding through Melbourne in 2008.

He fled on a friend’s passport before he could be sentenced.

Mr Puneet was arrested four years later, on his wedding day, and extradition hearings have been going through a New Delhi court since then.

He disappeared again before resurfacing in the middle of last year. On Thursday, he was taken into custody.

Mr Puneet pleaded guilty to culpable driving causing Mr Hofstee’s death.

He admitted driving at 150km/h with a blood alcohol level of 0.165 at the time of the crash at Southbank.

A nursing student from Queensland, Mr Hofstee 19, had been in Melbourne to compete in water polo at the Australian University Games.

On Friday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described Mr Puneet’s avoidance of justice for his appalling conduct as “cowardly”.

“Hopefully him coming back into custody back in India takes us a step closer to him serving time,” he said.

“He ran as cowards do, and the family of his victim needs to have that justice. We all do.”

A Victorian government spokeswoman earlier said it continued to work closely with the Commonwealth and other authorities to ensure Mr Puneet is extradited to Victoria as soon as possible.