Home detention for fatal Southland crash

Rodney Martin was sentenced in the Invercargill High Court today. Photo: Laura Smith
Rodney Martin was sentenced in the Invercargill High Court today. Photo: Laura Smith
A motorist who failed to stop at a stop sign leading to the death of nurse, mother and wife Nola Jane Paterson-Barton was sentenced to eight months home detention today.

The sentence was handed down to Rodney Martin (53) by Justice Rachel Dunningham in the Invercargill High Court.

Justice Dunningham said Martin made the conscious decision to go through the stop sign on November 21 last year, thinking he had enough time to get through the intersection as the vehicle ahead of him had.

He did not, and as a result, T-boned Mrs Paterson-Barton at the intersection of Mill Rd South and Oteramika Rd near Invercargill.

Witnesses and Martin tried to help Mrs Paterson-Barton but she died at the scene.

At today's sentencing Jamie Barton, Mrs Paterson-Barton’s husband and Sophia, her 14-year-old daughter, read out victim impact statements telling all those present how the loss of Mrs Paterson-Barton affected the family.

Mr Barton turned to face Martin as he told him he had been with his wife for 30 of his 45 years.

“I have no adult memories without Nola by my side.

‘’Except for my children, I now struggle to find any joy in my life.

Her daughter Sophia, said she wished she’d hugged her mother tighter the last time she saw her.

’’It’s ironic, the time I most need her is the time I can’t have her.’’

Martin would have to move from his home to serve his sentence as there was no cell phone coverage at his farm.

He was also ordered to pay $10,000 emotional harm reparation to the Barton family and to pay $1594.78 for damage to a fence as a result of the crash.

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