Driver responsible for horror crash back in jail 11 years later

A man who left his girlfriend with a life-long brain injury in a drunken crash 11 years ago is back in prison for new car crimes.

Shilah Parker is now a 28-year-old mother of two, but still carries the scars of the crash which nearly ended her life.

She is undergoing surgery tomorrow to fuse bones in her foot, and it will not be the last time she goes under the knife.

"It's been 11 years but things are still horrible," she said.

Ms Parker’s mother, Rose Jordan, said it was "disgusting" that Daniel Smylie-Mullaly (30) was still committing crimes when she heard he had been jailed again, this time for stealing a car and driving it from Christchurch to Dunedin.

"With all of the rehabilitative efforts, you’d think something would have stuck by now."

On March 30, 2011, Smylie-Mullaly was driving himself and the then 17-year-old Ms Parker to Ashburton but crashed head-on into another car near Orari.

His blood-alcohol level was found to be one and a-half times the former legal limit at 120mg.

Ms Jordan told Stuff she had no doubt her daughter only survived because of the surgeon travelling in the car behind them.

That was not the only time she cheated death that night.

Pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, she was so fragile her family were not able to touch her.

Ms Parker was found to have 22 major bones broken and a punctured lung.

After her life support was hesitantly turned off, she started to breathe a little on her own.

It took her 11 days to wake up, and three and a-half months to be discharged from hospital.

Smylie-Mullaly was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for five years.

While still suffering from the crash ten years ago, Shilah Parker is now a mother of a four-year...
While still suffering from the crash ten years ago, Shilah Parker is now a mother of a four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
And now, after appearing in the Dunedin District Court last week, he is behind bars again.

On January 9 this year he stole a car from his sister’s associate in Christchurch and drove it to Dunedin.

Court documents revealed he went to three petrol stations along the way and stole a total of $149 worth of fuel.

Counsel Deborah Henderson said the whole ordeal had "just been a huge roller-coaster for him".

He "had no real excuse" for the 360km joy-ride; only that he had to get out of the garden city and did not think it through.

"It's a long way from Christchurch to Dunedin," Judge Josephine Bouchier said.

"He could have turned around."

"He lacks impulse control," Mrs Henderson replied.

The court heard that "addiction to any form of drugs" had been the driver of past offending, but he had been clean since his last release from prison.

Judge Bouchier sentenced Smylie-Mullaly to eight months’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay $299 reparation.

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