Crash driver acquires drug conviction too

After a high-speed crash in suburban Dunedin, the driver left one of his passengers bloodied and unconscious and ran from the scene.

"I have to get the f... out of here," Reagan Mano John Heke (37) said, before bolting down Corstorphine Rd.

He had been driving at up to 117kmh on the 50kmh stretch in the early hours of February 17, 2017 when he lost control on a sweeping bend, the Dunedin District Court heard last week.

The force of the impact with a parked vehicle ripped the rear door from the Subaru that Heke was driving.

The man in the back - who, like the others in the car, was not wearing a seatbelt - was flung out and lay on the ground unconscious.

Heke's then partner, in the passenger seat, struck the windscreen with her head and was "screaming hysterically".

Two other parked vehicles were damaged in the dramatic smash, the noise from which was so loud, nearby residents came out to see what had happened.

Heke became aggressive and tried to reverse his wrecked car down the road.

When that did not work, he fled.

An off-duty police officer followed and directed his colleagues to a property on Corstorphine Rd, where Heke was eventually found hiding in bushes.

The man who was thrown out of the car suffered a broken nose and concussion, while the woman received lacerations.

Heke had a suspected fracture of his vertebrae and wore a neck brace for a month.

The brush with death, though, did not set him straight.

On September 4 last year, police were looking for Heke at a Clyde Hill home.

They found him hiding in a cupboard - and much more.

In a black duffel bag in the same cupboard was $4400 of methamphetamine, electronic scales, a glass pipe, self-sealing bags, a hunting knife, knuckle dusters and $360 in cash.

Heke claimed he was only an occasional user of the class-A drug.

"If he's got it, he uses it," defence counsel Brian Kilkelly said.

However, Judge Michael Crosbie said it was clear drug use was a significant factor in Heke's pattern of offending.

"Unless you do something about it, it's just going to lead on to further offending," he said.

Heke was convicted of two counts of dangerous driving causing injury and one of possessing meth.

He was imprisoned for two years and eight months and banned from driving for three years, which will begin when he is released from jail.

 

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