Learner given a court les­son

Taranaki Daily News - - News - CATHER­INE GROENESTEIN

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.

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