Driver in loader-chase incident remanded for sentence

November 17, 2015 | By More

Court House-entranceA youth justice sentence of supervision with residence has been recommended for a 17-year-old who led police on a 90-minute chase across Christchurch in a stolen front-end loader.

The youth, who was aged 16 and therefore in the Youth Court jurisdiction at the time, has attended a family group conference since admitting a list of charges.

He has continued name suppression because the case remains in the Youth Court, where the conference has recommended that the judge impose supervision with residence – effectively youth prison, which can be imposed for up to six months.

Judge Noel Walsh remanded the youth in custody in the Youth Court in Christchurch today, for sentencing on December 8. In the meantime, a social worker’s report and plan will be prepared taking account of the conference’s suggestion.

The youth has admitted unlawfully interfering with a vehicle, possession of cannabis, unlawfully taking a vehicle, unlicensed driving, failing to stop for the police, reckless driving, drink-driving, possession of an offensive weapon, and wilful damage.

The youth had originally faced five charges of assault with a weapon because police alleged the loader had been driven at officers. However, he has admitted one representative charge and the other charges have been withdrawn.

The loader was driven into cars and fences during the 90-minute chase on June 17, as it was driven from Linwood to Bexley and Marshland. The strange incident had residents coming out of their houses to take video of the low-speed police chase as the loader passed by.

The incident ended when police blasted tear gas into the loader’s cab.

Youth advocate Siobhan McNulty reported the outcome of the family group conference to Judge Walsh and asked for the remand. The judge then said the conference, attended by the youth’s parents and sister, had been “obviously very productive” and granted the remand for sentence.



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