Boy racers urged by judge to get message

EXPENSIVE: Aaron Mintrom has to pay $400 to get his impounded car back , plus other fines after being caught doing two burnouts at Waimea West.
EXPENSIVE: Aaron Mintrom has to pay $400 to get his impounded car back , plus other fines after being caught doing two burnouts at Waimea West.

Boy racers caught in a Nelson police operation designed to crack down on their anti-social and dangerous driving have learnt burnouts can be a costly exercise.

Several boy racers charged as part of Operation West, a new covert police operation, appeared in Nelson District Court yesterday.

Police have seized at least 12 cars so far and have said they are not going to tolerate the antics of boy racers.

Glenn James Taylor, 20, was caught doing a burnout on April 27 in Waimea West.

Judge Richard Russell said Taylor had been caught driving with sustained loss of traction three or four times since 2009 and the court had had enough of his behaviour.

Judge Russell said the court needed to put a bracelet around Taylor's ankle and keep him at home at night and at weekends.

Taylor was remanded on bail for sentencing on July 3 and was ordered not to drive.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Graeme Eden said there were spectators and about 20 cars parked with their lights off at Waimea West, and were a hazard to the public, when Taylor performed his burnout.

Aaron Kevin Mintrom was also caught doing two burnouts at Waimea West on the same night as Taylor.

Mr Eden said Mintrom did a burnout at a Waimea West intersection for 15 to 20 seconds, and smoke and noise from the burnout was visible about 500 metres away.

After the first burnout Mintrom parked. He was seen doing another burnout some time later.

His lawyer, Alan Heward, said Mintrom was embarrassed and remorseful and it was the first time he had done a burnout. He had performed the second burnout because of peer pressure.

A photo of his car had been on the front page of the Nelson Mail in an Operation West story and Mintrom had been getting a lot of comments and was embarrassed.

His driving that night had been out of character, Mr Heward said.

Judge Russell told Mintrom to learn from appearing in court and that it was going to be a "costly experience".

Mintrom would have to pay $400 to get his impounded car back, and was fined $400 on each charge of driving with sustained loss of traction.

This meant he faced a $1200 bill plus court costs. Mintrom was also disqualified from driving for nine months.

Judge Russell said Mintrom had better drive a lot more responsibly when he got his car back.

Regan Samuel Woodford, 20, a technician, of Richmond, was yesterday fined $450 and disqualified from driving for six months after he was caught doing a burnout on State Highway 60 on the same night as Mintrom and Taylor.

Police have said Operation West was causing unease amongst boy racers.

Shay Riki Fisher, 19, of Richmond, admitted obstructing police after he went through a police patrol car to find a list of cars to be impounded as a result of the operation.

Mr Eden said Fisher was seen doing a donut outside Hope School in Paton Rd at 4.30pm on April 30.

Children and parents at the school has seen him execute the donut.

Fisher was followed up Aniseed Valley and when a member of the public got out of his car in an attempt to speak to him, Fisher reversed out, causing another driver to take evasive action.

Fisher drove back to Hope and was seen failing to stop at a stop sign.

Mr Eden said on May 5 Fisher was stopped by police driving in Stoke.

Fisher opened the front door of a police car and looked in the front and the back for the list of vehicles, despite being told by police to stop.

Fisher said he panicked and did not know what he was doing when he looked for the list.

Fisher did not give an explanation for his driving in Hope to police, but said it wasn't a burnout, he just got a little sideways movement, and he "don't know why, I just did".

Judge Russell confiscated Fisher's car and sentenced him to 80 hours of community work and disqualified him from driving for eight months.

He said Fisher had a previous conviction for driving with sustained loss of traction in September and thought he would have learnt his lesson.

"The message needs to go out to you and others, particularly those with previous convictions."

The Nelson Mail