Hallwright victim seeks sentence review
A man left with severe injuries after a road-rage incident is seeking a tougher sentence against prominent Auckland financier Guy Hallwright who was convicted over the incident but given a non-custodial punishment.
Lawyer Michael Kidd is acting for Song-jin Kim, 58, run over by Hallwright, who will seek a legal review of the sentence.
Hallwright, a 60-year-old Forsyth Barr analyst, was found guilty in June of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard to Kim on Auckland's Mt Eden Road on September 8, 2010.
Last week district court Judge Raoul Neave ordered Hallwright to serve 250 hours community work, pay $20,000 in reparation and be disqualified from driving for 18 months.
He could have been jailed for up to five years.
Judge Neave's sentencing hailed Hallwright as a contributor to society and slammed the media for being vulgar in covering the case.
Kim has had eight operations on his legs since the accident and will need more. He claimed his work and family life has also suffered and he suffers a life long psychological impact.
Kidd said he had become involved in the case because "New Zealanders look down on immigrants and Asians."
He said he did not know if that was involved in the Hallwright case but wanted to look at the background before seeking Crown cooperation in an appeal against sentence. Appeals against sentence are normally made by the Crown but parties can seek application for review.
"There is a right to lodge an appeal, it is a question of your standing to do so," he said.
"I will be applying today to get the judge's notes and the transcript of the hearing."
Meanwhile Forsyth Barr managing director Neil Paviour-Smith has declined to discuss Hallwright's future: "I am not able to discuss employment issues with the media."
At Hallwright's June trial, Kim claimed Hallwright gave him the fingers and swore at him. Kim said he had gone to Hallwright's car and stumbled, falling on to the bonnet. Hallwright then drove over Kim's legs as he left the scene.
Hallwright denied deliberately driving into Kim, saying he was afraid he might have had a weapon when the two of them confronted each other. He told the court he felt a "small bump" when the car went over Kim.
Kim had claimed to be in front of the car when he was hit, but Judge Neave said given Hallwright's character he did consider it highly unlikely.
Judge Neave said Hallwright was one of society's contributors who had suffered humiliation because of the Crimes Act charge.
He criticised the crown saying the charge, which a jury found proven, should have been laid under the weaker Land Transport Act.
Hallwright had suffered severe humiliation "well in excess of that required by the gravity of the offence", the judge said.
The judge condemned media for their "unhealthy degree of glee of the misfortunate of someone who might be in a more fortunate position".
"Indeed I have wondered at some length whether or not if this had been an encounter between two teenage boys on the backstreets of Manukau whether we would be here today."
Judge Neave said the incident was a momentary flight but that Hallwright, who had a "spotless reputation and impeccable character," had shown genuine remorse.
- © Fairfax NZ News