'Night of madness' may end in deportation
A man who seriously injured a motorcyclist when driving the wrong way down an Auckland motorway during a drunken "night of madness" has been sentenced to six months home detention and may face deportation.
Indian immigrant Parvez Ahmed, 25, was sentenced at the Manukau District Court yesterday where Judge Mark Perkins also disqualified him from driving for 18 months.
Ahmed was ordered to pay his victim - Jonathan Meech - $10,000 in emotional harm reparation. Meech's leg had to be amputated below the knee after the crash.
"Mr Meech's life has been changed dramatically as a result of your appalling behaviour and driving," Judge Perkins said during sentencing.
"Nothing I can do can offer Mr Meech consolation. My sentence may not be satisfactory to him and his family, but I am bound by legal principles."
Parvez was charged with driving with excess breath alcohol, failing to stop at the scene of a crash and dangerous driving after the crash on April 20.
Meech, 37, was thrown 50 metres across the motorway and was forced to drag himself across the lanes to safety while he waited for emergency services.
Meech, supported by his mother, sister and brother-in-law, faced Parvez as he was sentenced.
After the crash, Ahmed fled the scene in his vehicle but crashed into a tree after exiting the motorway at the Princes St southbound on-ramp a short time later.
Police later found him in a "dazed and confused state" and arrested him.
Ahmed has been in New Zealand on a work visa for the past three years and had a job at a supermarket. His passport was seized after he entered a guilty plea in August.
The court heard from his lawyer, Tony Banbrook, that Ahmed had an "exemplary" character up until this point and had risen through the ranks at work where in three years he was promoted from sweeping floors to grocery manager.
His conviction puts his future work visa application in doubt and he may face deportation.
Banbrook told the court that his client would receive "no welcome" if he was deported back to India because his parents have "cut him off" and refuse to speak to him as a result of his actions.
Banbrook told the court the incident was a "one-off" episode of drinking as a result of Ahmed hearing his parents' marriage was ending.
"He decided to buy beer and visit a friend. He does not drink and as a result he became seriously intoxicated," he said.
As part of his sentence, Ahmed is required to attend a drug and alcohol programme.
"[Ahmed] wrote a letter to Mr Meech in which he is expressed genuine remorse for the harm he has caused," Banbrook said.