Notes from the court reporter's diary

The following cases were heard by Judge Gregory Ross in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday:


  • A teenager lost his driver's licence for three months and was fined $425 for losing control of his car in rush-hour traffic.


Tyler Albert Lockett, 18, was driving along Rangitikei Line at 7.45am on December 22 when he travelled over a bridge heading out of Palmerston North at 100kmh.

He lost control of his car and slid sideways for 80 metres beyond the bridge before going into a ditch.

He was charged with careless driving.

The judge said his actions took place at a time when there would have been a lot of traffic around.


  • Test driving a car for his mother landed Meha Hemi Taylor-Haeata with a criminal conviction.


The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to drink-driving, after he was caught with a breath-alcohol level of 830 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath on March 20.

He told police he had been taking the car for a test drive for his mum. He was sentenced to 75 hours' community work, nine months' intensive supervision and disqualified from driving for six months.


  • A Palmerston North man found with cannabis plants in his house said he wanted the plants to die.


Jyde Carl Collins, 27, was caught with the drugs after police went to his house on February 4 due to neighbours hearing people there arguing.

They noticed a strong aroma from the drugs and searched the property, finding 27 cannabis seedlings and 148 grams of cannabis leaf.

Collins said the leaf was for his own use, but the plants were a friend's.

Defence lawyer Tony Thackery said Collins wanted the plants to die, which was proven by their wilted state. He was sentenced to 150 hours' community work.


  • Running a cyclist off the road and crashing into a person on a farm bike cost Ryan Christopher Whitfield a 17-month disqualification from driving.


In July last year the 33-year-old Pahiatua man drove into a farm motorbike, bumping the rider into a drainage ditch.

The motorcyclist suffered bruising and a smashed wrist.

A month later, Whitfield drove very close to a cyclist.

He then turned back and drove on the wrong side of the road towards the cyclist, before driving back past, at which point the cyclist had to take evasive action and veer off the road which caused him to sprain his ankle.

Whitfield was charged with careless driving causing injury and dangerous driving causing injury, and was sentenced to six months' supervision and 125 hours' community work in addition to the disqualification. 

Manawatu Standard