Car crushed next time, boy racer warned

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012

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A 20-year-old clocked driving at 124kmh through Eltham is in danger of becoming the first Taranaki driver to have his car crushed under legislation aimed at deterring boy-racers.

Judge Allan Roberts' warning came after Brendon Patrick Crawford pleaded guilty in Hawera District Court yesterday to a charge of unnecessary exhibition of speed.

It was his second offence under the anti-boy-racer legislation and was committed while he was driving his parents' car.

Judge Roberts told Crawford he would have his car crushed the next time he acted like a "numbskull" boy racer.

The legislation, the brainchild of Justice Minister Judith "Crusher" Collins, gives courts the power to order the destruction of the cars of drivers involved in three illegal street races or burnouts in the space of four years.

The car does not have to be owned by the driver, but if the owner has been warned previously it can be crushed.

In June, Paraparaumu boy racer Daniel Briant earned the dubious honour of being the first to have his car crushed under the law. No Taranaki drivers have had their cars crushed yet.

The court was told police watched Crawford take off at speed from the town's BP service station on October 24.

Police prosecutor Steve Michael said Crawford was then clocked doing 124kmh in a 50kmh zone.

"[Crawford] was seen to brake heavily to negotiate a left-hand turn into Bridge St."

He initially managed to evade police, who caught up with him a short time later thanks to members of the public.

Crawford told police he had forgotten his money to pay for petrol and wanted to get it before the service station closed.

Defence lawyer Neal Harding said it was "appalling driving" and as it was a second offence he accepted the punishment would be steep.

Crawford was sentenced to 100 hours' community work and disqualified from driving for six months.

Judge Roberts said a letter would also be sent to his parents telling them if he continued to drive "like a muppet" the car would be crushed.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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