A 24-year-old woman has been found responsible for a fatal
crash on Forbury Rd, Dunedin, a year ago.
Jessica Anne Gooch, checkout operator, had denied causing the
death of Daniel John Wadsworth by driving carelessly on
Mr Wadsworth was fatally injured when his Harley Davidson
motorcycle collided with the defendant's Ford Mondeo which
was making a right turn from Forbury Rd into Sandringham St
just before 9pm.
Giving his decision yesterday on the case, which he heard in
the Dunedin District Court earlier this month, Judge Michael
Crosbie said that, on the evidence he had heard, he believed
the police would have been justified in laying a charge of
dangerous driving causing death against Gooch.
The young woman's attitude towards the matter needed to
change, he said.
He found aspects of the way she had given her evidence
"chilling''. She was giggling at various times during her
testimony and he did not put that down to nervousness, the
Gooch needed to consider some issues of responsibility
concerning her driving. A person's life had been lost.
The judge said he found the charge had been proved beyond
reasonable doubt. He told prosecutor Sergeant Ross Hutton and
defence counsel Campbell Savage he would give written reasons
for his decision before sentencing Gooch early next year.
Convicting the defendant, he asked for a pre-sentence report
and one considering an electronically monitored sentence.
Judge Crosbie also said he wanted the possibility of
restorative justice investigated.
Evidence at the defended hearing was that Gooch had
anticipated a right turn into Sandringham St and had crossed
the centre line into the lane of the oncoming motorcyclist
who, witnesses said, was travelling at excessive speed.
Gooch failed to see him, her description being he had come
"out of nowhere''.
The motorcycle hit the left front corner of the Ford and was
thrown into the air. Mr Wadsworth went over the car and was
catapulted more than 8m along Forbury Rd. He died at the