Driving Offence

Traffic LawyerDriving Under the   Influence

So, as I said, prior to coming into Court I get to read all of the file and I read with interest the alcohol and drug assessment and I also read the victim impact report for that I have already referred to. I have read through the submissions filed by Mr Starling on your behalf and also for the Crown. Mr Starling may have told you that I need to assess a starting point, then I add up those starting points and look to see whether or not I should uplift that further and then look to see what credits that I can give you.So, by far the most serious offending here is in relation to what you did with victim 1and rather than isolate each of the offences and add them up, I have done what the Crown and what Mr Starling have asked me to do is to look at a global starting point. There are multiple aggravating features of that offending. I have already noted blows to the head, occurring over a period of four days with very real and meaningful.threats to her, harm caused by not only the bruises but also the burns on her chest and also psychological trauma which is ongoing. So, when I look at all of that offending I take a starting point for that of four years’ imprisonment.

NZ Sentencing Case

I then need to assess how much do I uplift that for your driving offences on 13 March. That was serious, bad driving on your behalf, with the real risk that you posed not only to yourself, but also other road users and the methamphetamine use is no excuse in relation to that. So, I uplift that by 12 months. On its own, if I had just been dealing with that I would look to impose a sentence of 18 months to two years’ imprisonment. However, I have to bear in mind the totality principle, so I have uplifted the sentence to one of five years imprisonment.I then need to assess how much more do I add on in relation to the two assault charges. I think, as I said, I see the assault on the prison officer not being as serious but in relation to victim 3 I see that as being serious. So, I have uplifted the sentence by six months or five and a half years’ imprisonment. I have considered whether or not I need to uplift the sentence further, to take account of your prior convictions. However, I am not going to do that because I think there has been a real escalation for you personally and that is not only caused by your methamphetamine use but also I think a decline in relation to your mental health and your mental functioning. So, I have left it at five and a half years, which is most probably merciful for you but I am keeping in mind that you are 25.So, the other thing now I need to do is consider what credit can I give you and one of the things that Mr Starling has asked me to consider are all of those matters that are set out in the alcohol and drug addiction report about your background, how you were brought up and issues that are quite personal to you, and it is also reflected in the pre-sentence report.

Prison SentenceDrink_drive

As I have discussed with Mr Starling and with you this morning, I am concerned about the deterioration in your mental health. It may well be, as you have said, induce because your drug use has increased but it may not be, and I am interested to know that you are already on antipsychotics, quetiapine, and also some antidepressants. And you told the probation officer that since you have been on that new medication those perceptual disturbances, which means the voices that were telling you to do bad things, they have quietened down, and they are not so prominent although I note from the alcohol and drug assessment that there were noticeable perceptual disturbances at that time which they were concerned about. Why I am mentioning that is because the prison authorities when they are managing you within your sentence need to be conscious of that and they need to address that because I would hate for you to be drifting in the prison system and that not being addressed properly. So, at the moment I am pleased to see that there is some oversight of you by the forensic services.