A binge drinker has no memory of crashing his car into the bedroom of a house where a woman slept.
The crash caused bedroom furniture to fall on to her bed but the woman escaped uninjured.
Yesterday, repeat drink-driver Ned Meihana Niwa was sentenced to four months' home detention, 200 hours' community work, alcohol and drug counselling, and employment training. He was also banned from driving for a further year.
At 1am on June 16 Niwa, 38, a New Plymouth painter-decorator, accelerated in his Toyota when police asked him to stop for a random test on Seaview Rd.
The court heard that when police gave chase he reached speeds of at least 90kmh in a 50kmh zone.
At the Omata Rd intersection he braked, causing the car to skid 69 metres before it crashed into the front bedroom of a house on the opposite side of the road.
The court that heard Niwa attempted to flee the scene, then attacked the police officer who tried to apprehend him.
He continued to run, until being overpowered by two other police officers.
In a breath test, Niwa blew 822mcg, more than twice the legal limit, but denied he was the driver.
He later admitted charges of dangerous driving, aggravated assault on police, escaping police custody, driving while disqualified, failing to stop and drink-driving.
Niwa's defence counsel Kylie Pascoe acknowledged that it was an atrocious piece of driving that night which put the community at high risk of harm.
Niwa was so ashamed of himself he did not apply for bail and had remained in jail since July, she said.
Niwa was saved further time in jail after police prosecutor Sergeant Lewis Sutton told Judge Allan Roberts that Niwa had written an impressive and insightful letter of apology to the police officer he assaulted.
He also sent similar letters to the woman and others involved.
Judge Roberts said he had intended to jail Niwa but changed his mind because of the sergeant's comments.
It had been sheer good luck that his female victim was not injured, the judge said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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