Prison sentence for Hutt man who led high-speed chase

06:02, Sep 24 2009

A 20-year-old Lower Hutt man who led police on a high-speed chase between Rotorua and Taupo last month was today sentenced to nine months in prison.

Regan Shannon McKinley, of Petone, was chased for 40 kilometres at speeds of more than 170kmh.

After road spikes deflated three tyres on the car he drove for a further 9km before being stopped and arrested.

Taupo District Court was told today it was not the first time McKinley had stolen a vehicle and failed to stop.

McKinley had a list of offences against him dating back to 2005. He had pleaded guilty to a raft of charges including theft of motor vehicles, driving while disqualified, excess breath alcohol, breach of supervision, failing to complete community service and resisting arrest.

McKinley's lawyer said much of the offending had taken place while Mr McKinley was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

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He said McKinley had been unable to get on top of his drug problem and was now at a crossroads in his life.

His lawyer said that a custodial sentence may give McKinley an opportunity to begin to make positive choices and decisions.

In sentencing McKinley, Judge Phillip Cooper noted that McKinley had had a destructive upbringing.

He said that if McKinley didn't change his ways he would ruin his life and most likely spend increasing time in prison.

Judge Cooper said he was sceptical that McKinley, whose partner gave birth to their first child while he was on his most recent offending spree, was sincere in his desire to be a good parent and support his child.

As well as attending drug and alcohol counselling Judge Cooper said McKinley was to attend a parenting programme.

NZPA