Reckless drivers sentenced

Last updated 07:23 03/12/2012

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Two young men appeared in court last week after leading police on high-speed pursuits, one in Invercargill and one in Alexandra.

Samuel Hamish Parker, 21, farm hand, of Merino Downs, and Stephen Terrence Ruke, 18, appeared before Judge John Macdonald in Invercargill District Court.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Denise Harvey said Parker was caught drink-driving on October 27. Two weeks later he was driving while intoxicated near Alexandra with two passengers in the vehicle.

When signalled by police to stop he accelerated to 130kmh and drove erratically.

He drove through an intersection at 70 to 80kmh and continued to lead police on a pursuit, reaching speeds of up to 120kmh.

He stopped at a police road block at the Clyde Bridge. He showed no remorse for his actions and repeatedly asked police to get some beer from his vehicle, Ms Harvey said.

Parker was sentenced to 10 months' jail and disqualified indefinitely for driving while disqualified and with a breath alcohol level of 602mcg at Gore on October 27 and driving while disqualified, driving dangerously and with a breath alcohol level of 773mcg at Alexandra on November 10. He was convicted and discharged for failing to stop for red-and-blue flashing lights.

Ruke led police on a pursuit in Invercargill after making no attempt to stop when police activated flashing lights on August 29. His vehicle reached up to 80kmh.

On September 8 police again followed him and activated lights. Ruke reached speeds of more than 140kmh in a 50kmh area. When he reached a police cordon, he drove directly at the patrol vehicle, veered at the last minute, but hit it.

Ruke was sentenced to five months' community detention, 12 months' supervision, ordered to pay $5425 reparation and disqualified for 18 months for two charges of driving recklessly, two charges of failing to stop for flashing lights and one charge of failing to stop for flashing lights while exceeding the speed limit, unlawfully taking a vehicle, with reckless disregard for the safety of two constables interfered with a police vehicle, burglary, intentionally damaging a wall and failing to answer district court bail.

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- The Southland Times

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