Victim's mum wants drunk driver freed

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 12:00 07/02/2013
William Nicholson-Kuiti
WILLIAM NICHOLSON-KUITI: Was driving the car Louise Reichenbach and Bailey Kinita were in. He has been denied parole.

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The man behind the wheel of a car that crashed while speeding towards Foxton Beach, killing two people, will remain in jail for now.

However, the mother of one of the victims would like to see him freed.

William Nicholson-Kuiti, 21, who had been drinking, was the driver of a Ford Telstar that skidded on gravel then flipped in Foxton Beach Rd shortly before 5am on February 20, 2011.

Louise Reichenbach, 20, of Foxton Beach, and Bailey Kinita, 14, of Shannon, died, and four others suffered injuries. Miss Reichenbach was in the front passenger footwell; Bailey was on the lap of a back-seat passenger.

Nicholson-Kuiti was denied an early release by the Parole Board when he appeared before it for the first time last month.

Bailey's mother, Cath, told the Manawatu Standard she wanted Nicholson-Kuiti freed.

"He owned up to it, he took responsibility. I haven't really forgiven him, but I can live with it."

Ms Kinita said she would write to the Parole Board before it next saw Nicholson-Kuiti in May.

By then he would have finished a rehabilitation programme for male offenders that aimed to alter behaviour and make positive changes to their lives.

Until he completed the programme, he still posed an "undue risk".

"We make no promises whatsoever about the outcome of the hearing, but Nicholson-Kuiti knows how important it will be for him to complete the [programme] with distinction," Parole Board panel convener Alan Ritchie wrote in a report released to the Manawatu Standard.

In July 2011, Nicholson-Kuiti was jailed for four years and nine months on two charges of manslaughter and four of dangerous driving causing injury.

In what the Parole Board described as "dreadful alcohol-fuelled driving", Nicholson-Kuiti got behind the wheel after attending a party at Oroua Downs.

At Victoria Park, Foxton, he met other people doing burnouts, before he and six others crammed into the Telstar.

Nicholson-Kuiti lost control after coming out of a gradual bend in an 80kmh zone. The High Court in Palmerston North heard during his sentencing that police estimated he was driving at 108kmh to 127kmh.

His parole report noted some "positive factors", including his "undoubted support in the community" and the way he spoke with "unusual maturity for a 21-year-old".

"There has been a restorative justice process which, by all accounts, has been eminently successful and which has resulted in the acceptance by virtually all, if not all, of the people affected by the offending."

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Nicholson-Kuiti was on the waiting list for a dependency treatment programme, although the Parole Board said pre-sentence reports did not find him to have an alcohol problem. His offending was more of a "one-off drinking session". However, in jail, Nicholson-Kuiti has twice tested positive for cannabis.

"In this case we are satisfied that Nicholson-Kuiti very much regrets that he allowed himself the temptation and we are confident it will not happen again," the board said.

Miss Reichenbach had just finished a three-year diploma in occupational therapy; Bailey, who had not been drinking that night, was newly enrolled at Manawatu College and just a week shy of his 15th birthday.

- Manawatu Standard

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