The family of a man killed in a crash where the driver allegedly fled to Australia say the court process is "cruel".
Cody Marcus John Pierce, 22, pleaded guilty to two charges in the Christchurch District Court today, about a month after returning from the Gold Coast.
It was his third court appearance after being arrested at Christchurch International Airport last month.
He admitted failing to report the accident in Johnson Rd, West Melton, on October 27 within 24 hours of it occurring, as well as driving while disqualified.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol causing the death of Sean Christopher Frost, 43, of Christchurch, and failing to stay and check for injuries at the scene of the accident, which happened when a car allegedly being driven by Pierce hit a power pole near the intersection of Neave and Johnson roads about 9pm.
Police believed Pierce was picked up by a friend within minutes of the crash and left for Australia within 24 hours.
Frost died in Christchurch Hospital five days after the crash.
Outside court, Frost's brothers, Tim and Paul Frost, said Pierce's two guilty pleas provided no comfort.
''He's pleaded guilty to two things that were blatantly obvious,'' Paul Frost said.
''The whole thing is a bit of a joke really. He's sitting at home on remand on bail.''
Tim Frost said the court process was ''cruel'' and the not-guilty pleas meant the family faced more hearings.
Pierce, who hid in flax bushes before walking into court, refused to speak to the media after his brief appearance.
A family member said they would ''let the court do their work''.
Judge Raoul Neave remanded Pierce on continued bail to March 4 for a pre-trial hearing on the two charges where he is pleading not guilty.
The other charges are remanded to the same date.
A warrant for Pierce's arrest was issued in December.
He was arrested when he returned to Christchurch Airport early last month, held in custody overnight and granted bail to live with his parents.
Pierce had to surrender his passport.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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