Not neglect, says Hamilton drink driver

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 09:42 27/07/2013

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A Hamilton woman who drove drunk with her four-year-old daughter in the passenger seat and then crashed into a sign is appealing a conviction for neglect.

The woman was granted temporary name suppression a she appeals the conviction for ill-treatment or neglect of a child after the crash on Ruakura Rd on August 15, 2012.

The court heard the woman was driving along Ruakura Rd towards Holland Rd at 10.45pm.

Her daughter was in the front passenger seat wearing an adult's seatbelt,  however, there was an adequate child's car seat in the back seat.

When approaching Holland Rd, the mother failed to negotiate a bend, slammed on her brakes locking up the tyres, causing the car to go through the intersection and into a give way sign.

The crash was witnessed by police who just happened to be parked up nearby. The driver had a breath alcohol level of 928mcg.

The woman pleaded guilty to charges of driving with excess breath alcohol and careless driving in November and was convicted and sentenced to six months' supervision and disqualified from driving for 10 months.

She pleaded not guilty to the neglect charge but was found guilty by Judge Arthur Tompkins after a defended hearing in the Hamilton District Court in May.

Judge Tompkins today convicted and sentenced the woman today to 150 hours' community work.

The woman's lawyer Terry Singh yesterday also filed an application for permanent name suppression, saying it would likely lead to the identification of the child who was the victim in the incident.

Police prosecutor Leanna Darby opposed the application. Mr Singh said it was also a possibility that the child would no longer be able to attend a particular school and the woman would be looked down upon by other parents.

The application was declined by Judge Tompkins as he noted she had already been convicted on the earlier charges and at no time applied for suppression.

He granted temporary name suppression for 28 days so Mr Singh can file the appeal.

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- Waikato

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