Teen jailed after cutting red light

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 13:28 11/03/2014

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A Christchurch teenager has been jailed for 15 months for a red-zone house burglary and driving through a red light at 100kmh.

Traffic was heavy at the Aldwins Rd-Ferry Rd intersection in Linwood, the Christchurch District Court was told at Daniel William Taylor's sentencing today.

"How you didn't collide with someone else's car and cause serious injuries or death we will never know," Judge Alistair Garland told the 19-year-old.

Taylor has been on the methadone programme since he was 16.

He blames his offending on his unstable upbringing in Australia and New Zealand and his choice of associates. His behaviour went out of control after the death of his father last August.

He was appearing for sentencing on two charges of burglary, driving while his licence was suspended for excess demerit points, failing to stop for police and dangerous driving.

Defence counsel Donald Matthews asked for a reduction of the sentence because of Taylor's guilty pleas, his age and on compassionate grounds relating to his father's death.

The judge said Taylor had been caught by police taking copper piping from an abandoned red-zone house in Cumnor Tce, Woolston.

He said he was going to sell it to get money for cigarettes.

He was later caught raiding a vacant house in Mackenzie Ave, Linwood.

He caused $824 of damage while he was trying to remove the hot-water cylinder.

On October 9, while his licence was suspended, he was spotted by police driving a car through a McDonald's drive-through in Linwood.

He accelerated away and did not stop for the police car's flashing lights.

Police abandoned the high-speed chase through Linwood when Taylor drove through the Aldwins Rd-Ferry Rd intersection at about 100kmh.

About 90 minutes later, he was sighted by police riding home on a bicycle. He told them he had driven off because he thought he would be arrested for driving while suspended.

The judge said it was another case where a young male fled from police to avoid being caught for a licence offence that might have brought a fine and some disqualification.

"You were prepared to put yourself and other road users in serious danger when you went through a red light without stopping. You could have killed someone," he said.

He added a three-month jail term for the driving offences to the one-year sentence for burglary, jailing Taylor for a total of 15 months, disqualifying him from driving for 15 months and ordering reparation of $824 for the damage to the house.

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- The Press

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