Teen hoon given chance to turn life around
The Foxton teenager involved in a high-speed car chase across Manawatu has lost everything except his family, because of the life he was living when he offended, a court has been told.
Dyllan Barry Vaughan, 17, was one of two people who led police on a pursuit through Bulls, Halcombe and into Palmerston North, reaching speeds of more than 180kmh.
Vaughan tried to evade police by running into The Plaza and having a cup of coffee with his unsuspecting mother. But he was eventually caught, and pleaded guilty to failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, unlawfully getting into a car and two charges of shoplifting.
He was in the Palmerston North District Court for sentencing on those matters yesterday, along with an unrelated charge of receiving stolen property.
Defence lawyer Steve Winter said Vaughan's life had made a turn for the worse after leaving the family home in Foxton. "He had a supportive family, a car, substantial savings, employment, a firearms licence and hard-earned self-respect.
"Now, he only has his supportive family left."
He had fallen in with a crowd who were older, unemployed and involved with drugs, Mr Winter said.
"He was using multiple serious class A and B drugs, drinking to excess, and the inevitable consequences are loss of employment and contact with the law."
Vaughan's savings had all gone either "up the chimney or up his nostrils", as he gave a lot of it away to his new crowd of friends to spend on drugs.
Mr Winter said since the chase, Vaughan had made the right steps towards getting his life together.
He had returned to the family home in Foxton and enrolled himself in a course to address his alcohol and drug issues.
"The Dyllan Vaughan we all knew is being restored . . . and he may have learned his lesson from this mindless escapade."
Judge Gregory Ross said he had to take into account it was the first time Vaughan had been sentenced.
While Vaughan may have called the older drug users friends, Judge Ross said they were anything but.
"It looks to me that you have been used by these people and sucked into their games, which were unlawful."
Someone older and with a criminal history would likely go to jail, but Vaughan's record and age, combined with the steps he had taken since being caught, ruled that option out, Judge Ross said.
Instead, he sentenced Vaughan to 100 hours' community work, nine months' community detention, nine months' supervision and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.
He also ordered Vaughan to repay reparation to the petrol stations he stole petrol from during the chase, the owner of the car and the owner of a bollard he hit with the car.
Vaughan's accomplice, 28-year-old Simon James Woodward, is being sentenced next month.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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