Young farmer caught drink-driving again week after being sentenced

A young farmer who reoffended a week after being sentenced for a previous drink-driving conviction has been sentenced to community detention and supervision.

Patrick Trinity Henwood (21), of the Waimate district, appeared in the Oamaru District Court for sentencing yesterday, after pleading guilty to charges of drink-driving (1178mcg), driving while disqualified and careless driving on July 28 last year.

Police prosecutor Simon Reay told the court Henwood received his first drink-driving conviction when he appeared in the Oamaru District Court on July 21, 2021, and he was disqualified from driving for 28 days.

One week later, he chalked up his second offence.

About 11.30pm on July 28, Henwood was the driver of a vehicle on Burnett Rd, in Mt Somers, in the Ashburton district. He lost control of the vehicle on a gravel road, causing it to roll, and subsequently returned a breath alcohol reading of 1178mcg.

No injuries were sustained, and there was just minor damage to the vehicle.

Counsel Michael de Buyzer said it had taken two ‘‘serious wake-up calls’’ for Henwood to realise the ‘‘foolhardiness’’ of his behaviour.

He had taken responsibility for his actions, and was highly regarded and well-supported by his employers and family, Mr de Buyzer said.

Judge Emma Smith did not mince words, telling Henwood his reoffending within seven days of his previous drink-driving conviction was ‘‘arrogant’’, and she emphasised how close he had come to an accident involving injury or death.

'‘You could’ve killed yourself or others,’’ she said.

‘‘We are all thankful that you are alive.

‘‘We care more about you than you do yourself, maybe.’’

The judge told Henwood he needed to change his attitude to alcohol — his breath-alcohol readings of 954mcg and 1178mcg were high. The legal limit is 250mcg.

After Mr de Buyzer told Judge Smith a sentence of community work would be challenging, given Henwood’s rural location and reliance on others for transportation, she asked him if his client wanted to go to prison.

‘‘Does he want to go to prison? There has to be a punitive element.’’

While prison could have been a starting point, she instead opted for a combination of supervision and community detention.

On the careless driving charge, Henwood was convicted and fined $400.

For driving while disqualified, he was disqualified from driving for six months.

And for drink-driving, Hen-wood was sentenced to six months’ supervision and four months’ community detention, and disqualified from driving for six months.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of $130.

 - Staff reporter

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