Drink-driver crashed car, took tractor back to get it

When a drink-driver crashed his car into a ditch in rural South Otago he came up with a novel solution.

Daniel Alan Longshaw (aka Baxter) hitched a lift home then took a tractor back to the accident site to extricate his vehicle.

The criminal ingenuity, though, came to the attention of police who spotted the 36-year-old beneficiary driving the machine on Koau Rd.

An evidential test gave a breath-alcohol reading of 1038mcg — more than four times the legal limit.

He was convicted of aggravated drink-driving and careless driving when he appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

But Judge Peter Rollo said the most serious charge Longshaw faced — injuring with intent to injure — came from two years before the unusual road incident.

The defendant discovered a young boy, for whom he was caring at the time, had put a new shoe into a lit log-burner.

“Enraged”, Longshaw pulled the item out of the fire and used it to repeatedly strike the victim, who cried out in pain.

Despite the protestations of others in the house, the man used the impromptu weapon to hit the boy eight times.

Longshaw then “manhandled” the child into a bedroom and threw him on to a bed, the judge said.

As a result of the violence, the victim sustained bruising under both eyes and to his nose, according to court documents.

The court heard Longshaw had denied the details of the offending when interviewed by Probation before yesterday’s hearing.

Counsel Jim Takas said his client stood by the guilty pleas but took issue with a statement made by the mother of the boy.

“It strikes me as being a bit over the top ... The dysfunction is not entirely one-sided,” he said.

A medical report from a neurosurgeon detailed Longshaw’s traumatic brain injury which affected
his “tolerance and ability to make rational decisions”.

Judge Rollo said that must be taken into account in deciding the final outcome.

He also acknowledged the victim’s behavioural issues that may have contributed to Longshaw’s reaction.

“That’s not blaming the victim, that’s simply allowing for the reality of the situation,” said the judge. “You’re the person standing in the dock, you’re the adult.”

Longshaw was sentenced to nine months’ home detention and banned from driving indefinitely plus barred from owning a vehicle for 12 months.





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