Fatal hit-and-run charges dropped
The father of a man who died after being hit by a car on a Waikato road is furious that police have dropped all charges against the man who was accused of the fatal hit-and-run.
Hawke's Bay man William Gregory Hoskins, 26, died after being run over on State Highway 1B at Matangi early on January 15.
David Gregory Mascelle, 47, handed himself in to police the following day, more than 24 hours after the incident.
He was charged with careless driving causing death in Hamilton District Court.
Mascelle was scheduled to reappear in court tomorrow, but police on Friday confirmed via a press release that the charge had been withdrawn.
Mr Mascelle declined to comment when approached at his Matangi home yesterday.
Waikato district commander Superintendent Win van der Velde said, following legal advice and evidence presented by forensic experts, the case against Mascelle "lacked the evidential sufficiency to successfully prosecute" him.
Greg Hoskins, William's father, was visited by police on Wednesday and told the charges would be dropped. He was furious about the decision when contacted yesterday afternoon.
"It's a joke, mate. It's just how it is."
He believed his son would have been treated differently if he had been the driver.
He said the family, who live in Hastings, were still coming to terms with the loss of their son and brother.
"You don't get over ... this," he said. "It's for life."
Mascelle's wife Ngaire – a community magistrate – was a passenger in the car on the night William Hoskins was run down.
She was removed from the community magistrate roster while her husband was before the court.
Mr Hoskins claimed Mr Mascelle had reasoned that visibility was poor the night William Hoskins was hit.
But Mr Hoskins claimed otherwise: "I was on the road only an hour before them."
He was outraged that the man who had been accused of his son's death had been let off the hook.
The first man on the scene of the accident – and a key police witness – was also informed on Thursday night that his services in the case would no longer be needed.
The man found William Hoskins on the side of the road in the early morning of January 15.
Police told the man, who asked to remain anonymous, that the case against Mr Mascelle had been dropped.
The witness, who was due to appear before the court tomorrow, was told Mr Mascelle had hired another lawyer and said he understood it had been determined that "he couldn't have stopped" the car on the night William Hoskins was run down.
January 15 - William Hoskins died after being run over on State Highway 1B, Matangi.
January 16 - David Mascelle attends the police station.
January 19 - Mascelle appears in court charged with careless driving causing death.
January 28 - The Times reveals a community magistrate was a passenger in the car the night Mr Hoskins was hit.
February 17 - Name suppression lapses for Mascelle. The Times reveals Mascelle is the driver and the community magistrate is his wife, Ngaire.
July 9 - The Times reveals that police have dropped the charge against Mascelle.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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