Learner given a court lesson
A learner driver who took his unwarranted, clapped-out car into a park and performed skids and slides metres from playing children claimed to be there to use the toilet.
Jessie Victor Graham drove in to the parking area beside Victoria Park in Stratford about 12.25pm on Saturday, April 7.
He then managed to drive between two bollards that were there to stop vehicles, police prosecutor Sergeant Steve Hickey told Ha¯ wera District Court yesterday.
Once through the barrier, he performed a number of skids and slides, coming within three metres of the skate park.
The area, which has a playground and duck pond near the skate park, was being used by children and their families, and people walking through.
Graham, 29, then drove back through the bollards and was stopped by the police. He was found to have a breath alcohol reading of 326 mcg/litre. The legal limit is 250mcg/litre.
Graham was also driving on a learner’s licence but had no qualified person in the vehicle with him, Hickey said.
His car was in a state of disrepair, with its front bumper hanging off and a warrant of fitness that expired in May 2017.
Graham had told police he had wanted to use the public toilets, which are beside the park, Hickey said.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty in Ha¯wera District Court to one charge of dangerous driving.
Duty solicitor Jo Woodcock said Graham wanted to ask the court for a remand before he was sentenced. This was so he could get his restricted licence before he was disqualified from driving, which is mandatory on the charge.
Hickey said the custom of remanding driving offenders to a future date to enable them time to get their licences before their court sentencing was generally for people who had lost their licence through demerit points, but he would make no opposition.
Judge Chris Sygrove agreed to remand Graham to June 26.
‘‘Don’t drive in this manner again, if you do you’ll be in serious trouble,’’ he told Graham.