A former Christchurch man with more than 158 convictions, including 11 for driving while disqualified, drove at more than three times the speed limit in a residential area while children played, a court has heard.
Howard David Braithwaite, 41, who recently moved to Nelson, has been sentenced in the Nelson District Court for dangerous driving and for driving while disqualified for the 12th time.
Police said that about 9am on January 12, they received calls from residents of Dunns Ave, near the Pines Beach, north of Christchurch.
Braithwaite was driving an unregistered, unwarranted Holden about 100kmh in a 30kmh zone. He drove around the small streets at that speed, skidding at every corner.
Residents were on the footpath, and several children were playing near the road, police said.
One resident followed Braithwaite in an attempt to get him to stop, but he braked the car suddenly, and the resident collided into the rear of the car.
Police found Braithwaite at his house a short time afterwards. He had changed his shirt in an attempt to confuse them regarding his identity and told them he had been home at the time of the offending.
He failed a breath test, but passed a subsequent evidential test.
He initially pleaded not guilty, but then later changed his plea to guilty.
Defence lawyer Mark Dollimore said Braithwaite moved to Nelson about 10 weeks ago and since then he had not committed any offences.
Judge Richard Russell said Braithwaite had 15 pages of previous convictions, accumulated between 1989 and 2012.
Among these were 11 previous convictions for driving while disqualified, 20 convictions for other driving offences, and more than 80 other convictions.
Last year The Press reported Braithwaite had 158 previous convictions, including 120 for dishonesty offences.
This was an appalling history, Judge Russell said.
He said he had been stunned to read that Braithwaite had been scheduled to have his licence returned to him after a previous charge, and said he shook his head to think about what must have been going through Braithwaite's head.
His extensive reoffending suggested he "thumbed his nose" at the law.
Braithwaite was to have been sentenced at an earlier date, but concerns had been raised over whether it was appropriate for him to serve a sentence of home detention at the address of a former partner.
Mr Dollimore said the former partner had been generous and had found alternative accommodation for herself, leaving the address available for Braithwaite.
Judge Russell said Braithwaite should feel grateful to her, as that saved him from a prison sentence of at least a year.
It was by "a very fine margin indeed" that he had decided on home detention, Judge Russell said.
He sentenced Braithwaite to six months home detention, 150 hours of community work, and disqualified him from driving for 18 months.
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