A burnout done in his track car at the funeral of a friend was all about marking his respect even if it was illegal, a man has told a judge.
Glenn Taylor, 21, an apprentice engineer, of Upper Hutt was charged by police after he was seen spinning the tyres of his car, with the licence plate SLYD3N, during the funeral convoy of mate Troy Kahui in Upper Hutt on March 12.
Mr Kahui had been a car enthusiast and had been doing his car up.
Taylor had applied to have special reasons found on his charges to prevent him being disqualified.
Lower Hutt District Court judge Susan Thomas did not grant it, she said the fact it was a funeral was not an excuse to break the law.
She fined him $500 and disqualified him from driving for six months.
At the request of police Judge Thomas had viewed a dvd of the day that included Taylor’s burnout near Akatarawa cemetery showing the thick smoke and also young men standing nearby on the road which had not been completely blocked off.
Taylor had been charged with dangerous driving and sustained loss of traction.
Judge Thomas rejected that there was no risk to the public and also told him she did not think the police had allowed the behaviour.
"I am not sure what the police were supposed to do in the circumstances and it is my assessment that they took a very finely balanced course of not trying to fuel matters on the day by stopping people and telling them they would be charged." she said.
Complaints had poured in to police communications about burnouts and the convoy and police had to deal with a highly charged situation.
Taylor's lawyer Stephen Iorns said he had learned his lesson.
The car was designed for the track and had not been driven on the road before the funeral.
It did not have a warrant of fitness or registration at the time.
Three other men faced similar charges.
- The Dominion Post
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