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The son of an Auckland councillor and former top athlete has been caught driving while disqualified for the third time, but will be back behind the wheel in weeks.
Jacob Randall Quax, 19, son of former international runner Dick Quax, has been before the court several times in the last 16 months on driving offences, which included him being hospitalised after a crash in October.
Driving while disqualified usually attracts a further disqualification for the offender but at Auckland District Court this week, Judge Russell Collins sentenced him only to community work – a discretionary power a judge has under the Land Transport Act.
Quax's lawyer Maggie Winterstein provided a letter to the court from the teen's employer Ray White outlining their support and the police did not oppose the application to substitute the driving ban for an alternative sentence.
Judge Collins said a community-based sentence was "overwhelmingly appropriate".
"It's time you got off that wheel of offending," he said.
In February 2013, Quax was in court for dangerous driving after an incident where he lost control of his car in Howick and ended up crashing into a house.
Police alleged the car was travelling between 96 and 112km/h at the time.
Eight months later, the teen crashed again while on the Southeastern Motorway.
An Auckland woman who was driving her Mazda Familia to work in Penrose said the impact was like "a bomb exploded in the back of the car".
She sustained whiplash while Quax was taken to Middlemore Hospital with hip and pelvic injuries.
Despite the three offences, Judge Collins described Quax as "an extremely positive young man" and said he had been commended for his work during a previous community service sentence.
The teenager was sentenced to 150 hours community work.
It is understood he will ask to be placed at Howick Historical Village, where he served his previous sentence.
He will get his driving licence back in less than three weeks.
When asked how he felt about his son's behaviour, his father, who was in court for the hearing, refused to comment.
"It's a personal issue between my son and myself."
- Rob Kidd