A young driver who mowed down a pedestrian, killing him
instantly, before speeding off narrowly avoided jail today in
what a judge described as "a tragic day for all".
Harry Silcock, 18, recklessly overtook on double yellow lines
before ploughing into two pedestrians in a late-night
hit-and-run on a country road in Christchurch in September.
Sean Hutt, 20, died at the scene and Kyle Thomson, 17,
suffered a broken leg.
Judge Jane Farish became visibly emotional as she recounted
the effects the "catastrophe" had had on Mr Hutt's family,
especially his twin brother Callum.
She fought back tears as she read a victim impact statement
written by Callum to the convicted driver in the dock at
Christchurch District Court today.
"I would like Harry Silcock to know that by taking Sean from
us, he's taken half of who I am. I miss him all the time.
Part of me is missing."
Although Silcock ignored a "fundamental of overtaking" by
failing to check what was ahead before pulling out and then
fled the scene, he was not put behind bars.
Judge Farish said jail would "do nothing" for the remorseful
Silcock, and told the Hutt family that it would not "replace
Instead, by "a very narrow margin", she sentenced Silcock to
10 months' home detention, along with 250 hours of community
She also disqualified him from driving for two and a half
She ordered him to make two emotional harm repayments - one
of $10,000 to Mr and Mrs Hutt and a further $5,000 to Mr
Thompson, who is still on crutches and unable yet to return
The Hutt family declined to comment outside court.
Earlier the court heard how a "huge void" had been left in
their lives, and wondered if they would ever be able to come
to terms with what happened at Shands Rd in Hornby about
10.20pm on Saturday, September 15.
Around 70 young car enthusiasts had gathered to socialise in
the area that night.
Mr Hutt and Mr Thompson had barely left the grass verge when
Silcock overtook another vehicle in his early model Toyota
Starlet and hit the pair.
He skidded to a halt but then fled the scene.
The next day, he handed himself in to police.
Police initially thought Silcock had been racing another car
when he hit Mr Hutt.
Silcock, a welder from Burnham, outside Christchurch, pleaded
guilty in October to driving dangerously causing death,
failing to stop and give assistance, and driving dangerously
The courtroom was packed with friends and family members on
both sides of the "tragic" incident today.
Silcock, in a dark suit and tie, nodded to the judge when she
raised points but otherwise remained expressionless.
His lawyer James Rapley said his client had not been "hooning
around" and was travelling at 92kmh in a 100kmh zone when the
He said no one could have expected people to be on the side
of the road when the overtaking manoeuvre, on double lines,
took place shortly before an intersection.
"But nevertheless, he should've been prepared for any
eventuality, and he wasn't."
The Silcock family's "concern and anguish" for the Hutt
family was real and genuine, he said.
"They realise it could easily have been the other way
around," Mr Rapley said, adding that Silcock now had to live
with the consequences and "enormity" of having taken