160kmh speeder ‘emotionally overwrought’

A Frankton labourer caught driving at 160kmh in Central Otago was "emotionally overwrought" after attending his boss’ funeral, his lawyer says.

A police patrol spotted Harrison Kevin Robert Newman (22) driving at 160kmh in a 100kmh zone between Wedderburn and Becks in a borrowed BMW on November 23 last year.

He failed to stop when police activated the patrol car siren and flashing lights, and continued towards Lauder at high speed.

The police abandoned their pursuit, but the vehicle was later found in Omakau.

Newman told them he was feeling emotional while returning from the funeral in Mosgiel.

He was unaware he was travelling at that speed, and did not see the flashing lights or hear the siren.

Appearing before Judge Russell Walker in the Queenstown District Court yesterday, he admitted charges of dangerous driving and failing to stop.

Counsel Tanya Surrey said Newman was "emotionally overwrought" after the funeral.

He had worked closely with his late boss for the past four years, regarding him as a "father figure".

Judge Walker said a letter from the defendant’s employer stated Newman was highly thought of by his colleagues, and a "good, hard-working young man".

It appeared the employer felt a share of blame for the incident, saying he regretted giving Newman the BMW to drive.

Newman was convicted on both charges, and for dangerous driving, fined $750, ordered to pay $130 court costs and disqualified for six months.

For failing to stop, he was fined $300, ordered to pay $130 court costs and disqualified for six months (concurrent).

He was also ordered to undertake a driving improvement course.




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