Jail for driver who fled fatal crash scene

February 11, 2015 | By More

 

Court House-Sept-2013-07A driver who fled to Australia from the scene of a fatal crash has been told by the victim’s family that they will never forgive him for leaving Sean Christopher Frost badly injured after the accident.

Cody Marcus John Pierce, 24, left before police arrived at the accident scene and flew to the Gold Coast next day. He returned voluntarily to face the charges two-and-half months later.

Pierce was convicted at a Christchurch District Court jury trial on charges of causing Mr Frost’s death by careless driving while under the influence of drink, and failing to render assistance at the scene.

He had already admitted charges of disqualified driving and failing to report the accident.

He had been remanded on bail for his sentencing today by Judge Alistair Garland. The accident took place at West Melton on October 27, 2012.

Lisa Frost, the wife of Mr Frost, told the court his death had “broken” her family. She said the family might have regarded what had happened as an accident, except for what Pierce did afterwards in leaving the accident scene. He had shown a blatant disregard for another human being and had condemned them to a lifetime of hurt, anger, and emptiness.

Mr Frost’s daughter, Danielle, 21 and now living on the Gold Coast, said Pierce’s actions had ruined her life and had “cheated all of us”.

Both Mr Frost’s daughters were present at the hospital where he died of his injuries five days after the crash. The family made it clear in their statements that they could not forgive Pierce for leaving the scene. Lisa Frost said his lack of compassion in leaving Mr Frost meant there was “no ability to forgive”.

Five victim impact statements were read to the sentencing session.

Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes called for a prison term to be imposed. He said witnesses gave evidence of Pierce being “noticeably affected by alcohol” and one party-goer had tried to take the car keys away from him. The Crown said there was a worrying lack of remorse or acceptance of responsibility by Pierce.

Defence counsel Richard Maze said argued for a home detention sentence. He disputed the Crown’s allegations about Pierce’s level of intoxication. A text message from Pierce to his girlfriend saying he was drunk had been sent two hours before the accident.

Pierce had panicked and left the scene, but before that he had assisted by getting Mr Frost out of the vehicle. He had shown immaturity on the night but had since “grown up considerably”. He offered to pay “symbolic” reparations, although he had no savings.

Judge Garland said Pierce had lied about not being the driver, when people were helping at the scene, and he had lied about whether emergency services were on the way. His actions were despicable and had led to delays in getting medical attention.

He said he was satisfied on the evidence that Pierce had consumed a substantial amount of alcohol during the course of the evening.

He said the offending was very serious, noting that Pierce was a disqualified driver and there was a high level of carelessness. He noted that even now Pierce had not offered any personal apology to the victims.

He jailed Pierce for two years three months, and ordered him to pay $5000 emotional harm reparations to Mr Frost’s two daughters.

 

Category: Focus

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