A young Russian man faces deportation after being convicted
of reckless driving causing injury to his four friends,
including a promising athlete who missed out on competing in
the Commonwealth Games because of her injuries, a court has
Daniil Buzmakov, 19, breached the conditions of his
restricted licence when he set out early on November 6, 2013,
with five friends in the car and after he had been drinking.
The Auckland District Court was today told how he was
"showing off" speeding away from the house with "tyres
spinning", and ignoring at least one request to slow down.
The overloaded car meant some passengers were unrestrained
when he crashed into a tree in the Auckland suburb of Glen
Innes -- on a rainy night at around 80km/h in a 50km/h zone
-- injuring everyone in the car, including himself.
Four of the friends were seriously injured, including Riandri
De Bruyn, a promising young hurdler who fractured her elbow
and almost lost her arm. She was in hospital for nine days
and her rehabilitation hindered her training programme,
meaning she missed the selections for the Glasgow
Commonwealth Games, according to her victim impact statement.
Two other girls in the car suffered injuries to their
pelvises, with one suffering long-term complications which
may impact on a future pregnancy.
Another boy in the car hurt his shoulder and received a
Asking for a discharge without conviction, defence counsel
Richard Slade argued Buzmakov had been told by Immigration
New Zealand that if he was convicted he could be deported.
He was on a temporary visa after moving to New Zealand when
he was 6.
He was worried that if sent back to Russia, which has
compulsory conscription, he would be forced to serve in
Judge Claire Ryan, said while she agreed there was a "real
and appreciable risk" in that happening, it was also true of
all people who came before the courts from another country
which has mandatory conscription.
"I'm not satisfied that the risk that you may have to leave
this country, as many others do, is out of all proportion to
the gravity of this particular offending," she told him.
She sentenced him to three month' community detention and 90
hours' community work, and disqualified him from holding or
obtaining a driving licence for 12 months.
In sentencing Judge Ryan described Buzmakov as "a young man
with great promise" who had "impeccable" references and had
apologised to his victims.
However, his actions that night were "highly reckless, stupid
"You were lucky, as were your victims, that somebody wasn't
killed that night."
A message needed to be sent to young people that "they are
not bullet-proof and nor are their friends", she said.
"Driving in this way is going to kill somebody if not
permanently harm or disable them," she said.
- Patrice Dougan of APNZ