Victim confronts callous drink driver
A repeat drink-driver who crossed the centre line and smashed into another vehicle has been confronted by his victim in court.
After the collision, Palmerston North painter Cory Anton Stevenson, 35, told police he “didn't give a f… about the crash or the victim”.
In the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Ashhurst woman Suseela Batchelor, spoke about the horrific injuries she suffered at the drink-driver's hands, including a life-threatening broken neck.
Ms Batchelor is now on a sickness benefit and struggles to look after her two children, aged 3 and 1.
“I wish you could see how things are at my house and see the impact your choice to break the law has had,” she told Stevenson, who had four previous convictions for drink-driving or refusing to give blood.
In 2008 he was disqualified from driving indefinitely, but on the evening of May 24 he was driving along Milson Line, Palmerston North, towards the city. As he drove over the rail bridge, he crossed the centre line and slammed into the car in which Ms Batchelor was travelling.
“At the top of the bridge the victim had nowhere to go and Stevenson crashed into her vehicle,” the police summary of facts said.
His blood-alcohol level was 230 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
Judge Oake Blaikie noted Stevenson's initial comments to police and said although Stevenson later told a pre-sentence report writer he was remorseful, those remarks were probably self-serving.
“You were driving at the time as a disqualified driver. You were driving with a very high level of alcohol in your system. Your driving itself was extremely dangerous,” Judge Blaikie said. He told Stevenson he hoped he had listened to what Ms Batchelor had to say about the injuries and their impact.
On charges of driving while disqualified and drink-driving causing injury, Stevenson was jailed for two years and three months, disqualified from driving indefinitely and ordered to pay $925 reparation.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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