Man to pay for running over girl

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 05/06/2012

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A Waitara man who is waiting for a heart transplant and who ran over a 5-year-old girl when backing his car out of his driveway, will pay her $2000 in reparation.

But the girl's mother has told the court of her distress that Gordon Laurence Woller, 40, drove away that day without ensuring her daughter received medical help.

The mother was "staggered" he could drive off after running over her daughter without offering her any help. She accused him of having no conscience.

Woller, a sickness beneficiary, was sentenced in New Plymouth District Court on Friday after earlier pleading guilty to careless driving causing injury and failing to report an accident within 24 hours.

He had failed to see the little girl, who was riding on her scooter, because a hedge was in the way, Woller's lawyer Rajan Rai told the court.

Judge Allan Roberts, who told Woller he was not allowed to drive after he pleaded guilty on February 9, noted that Woller was waiting for a heart bypass operation.

On the day of the incident, Woller reversed his vehicle out of his Clifton Dr driveway just as the girl rode her scooter along the footpath outside.

He reversed over her, crushing her with the rear wheel. Woller was alerted by his neighbour and stopped his car, driving it forward to get the scooter out from under his vehicle.

He spoke to the girl and her grandfather, who was with her, before driving off.

The girl was taken to hospital where it was found she had no broken bones but had tyre marks over her body, bruising and muscular injuries.

In her victim impact statement, the girl's mother told the court her daughter had suffered consequences, including having to return to hospital for more X-rays, becoming weary while walking and losing her confidence.

Judge Roberts said he accepted the incident was a miscalculation but it was Woller's responsibility to make sure the way was clear.

Woller had expressed regret and had no relevant previous convictions. His probation officer did not recommend community work because Woller was waiting for a heart bypass.

Judge Roberts accepted Woller's offer of $2000 in emotional harm reparation to the girl to be paid at $40 a week and disqualified him from driving for eight months.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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