Home detention for fatal race
Two Auckland teens who drove in a high-speed street race that killed their friend, have escaped a jail term.
Calum Elliot, 18, and Dylan Chad, 17, last year pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 17-year-old Tyler Hoyle.
In the High Court at Auckland this morning Justice Rodney Hansen sentenced the pair to nine months' home detention.
A disagreement last year over whose car was faster led to Elliot hitting his friend at 106kmh, killing him instantly.
Hoyle's mother told the court that now her "angel boy" was gone, all she thought about was her own death and seeing her son again.
"I don't want to do anything but wait for my life to come to an end," she said.
"I see my son being driven into, into the windscreen, over the top of the car and into the road with a thud. This is what I think of every day."
Hoyle's family spoke of how they had suffered emotionally and physically from the tragedy with his father describing it as a "merry-go-round of stress".
"I take on other people's problems with no thought for myself . . . it all just seems like a downward spiral with no way out," he said.
The race which claimed the teen's life took place on August 1.
It was planned that Hoyle would stand at the end of a 150-metre stretch of Scott Rd in the northwesten suburb of Hobsonville, look out for traffic, judge the winner and take a photo of the cars as they approached.
The boys told police their friend crossed the road and although Elliot braked hard to avoid a collision, he was travelling at more than 100kmh when he hit Hoyle, killing him instantly.
Despite that, Justice Hansen judged the offenders to be equally culpable.
"It's a burden you'll carry for the rest of your lives," he said.
Chad, Hoyle's best friend who spoke at his funeral, had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the incident and was deeply ashamed, the judge said.
Both offenders had turbulent upbringings and Elliot had been recently diagnosed as manic depressive.
"Home detention is not a soft option for anyone and certainly not a soft option for you," Justice Hansen said.
"Imprisonment would likely be highly damaging."
Chad will serve his sentence at his grandparents' house in Massey, while Elliot will stay with his father in West Harbour.
Maria Pecotic and John Munro, lawyers for the teens, indicated their clients' willingness to attend a restorative justice conference with the victims' family but that had not yet been arranged.
The pair were also banned from driving for three years.