'Deadly risk' driver vies to have term cut

A 10-time drink-driver has been labelled ``a deadly risk on the road'' during a bid to have his jail term cut.

Antony Mark Burdon (46) was imprisoned for 18 months and banned from driving for 20 months when he appeared in the Dunedin District Court in September.

Counsel John Westgate argued before the High Court yesterday that Judge Dominic Flatley got it wrong and the sentence was manifestly excessive.

At 8.20am on May 27, Burdon was stopped in Waikouaiti after being clocked doing 114kmh.

When breathalysed, he returned a reading of 631mcg - more than twice the legal limit.

The court heard Burdon had finished work the previous evening and driven to a friend's house in Palmerston for a drinking session.

He was unexpectedly forced to leave the house early the following day, his counsel said.

Mr Westgate's submissions to Justice Nicholas Davidson centred around the allowance the previous judge had made for Burdon's guilty plea.

The court can cut a defendant's sentence by up to 25% for an early guilty plea but the appellant only received a 10% credit despite admitting his guilt almost immediately, Mr Westgate said.

While the argument found some favour with Justice Davidson, he said the starting point taken by Judge Flatley was ``light''.

``I think this is really pretty serious here. He's again intoxicated driving, the 10th occasion he's been caught - and speeding,'' he said.

``I don't know what can be done about this man. He's a deadly risk on the road.''

Crown prosecutor Richard Smith said the way Judge Flatley reached his sentence might not have been perfect, but the outcome was not excessive.

Justice Davidson noted Burdon worked in a ``highly dangerous environment'' driving heavy machinery.

Despite his record of drink-driving, his employer was supportive, the court heard.

``It strikes me Mr Burdon is protected at work but does not protect the public outside it,'' Justice Davidson said.

Burdon's first conviction for drink-driving came in 1989 and he had been jailed twice in 2010 and then again in 2015 for identical offences.

He had also been convicted twice of careless driving, Mr Smith said.

Justice Davidson reserved his decision.


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