Adam Kearns admits drugged-driving death

February 16, 2017 | By More

The son of jailed “Black Widow” murderess Helen Milner has admitted a charge of causing a death while driving with evidence of methamphetamine use in his blood.

Adam Francis Murray Kearns, 25, faces a long jail term for the offending in Christchurch in December 2015, after Judge Tom Gilbert ruled out home detention when Kearns pleaded guilty at the Christchurch District Court today.

Kearns also admitted a charge of dangerous driving causing death and injury to the passengers in the car he crashed, and breaching a home detention sentence by consuming an illicit drug.

He has been in custody for nearly a year and he will stay in custody for his sentencing on May 5.

The judge called for a pre-sentence report and police indicated the family of the dead man, Nicholas Brent Morrison, would read victim impact statements themselves or have them read on their behalf.

Helen Milner was jailed for life with a non-parole term of 17 years for the murder of her husband Philip James Nisbet, in 2009, and she was also jailed for having Kearns held in custody for 16 days when she orchestrated a false allegation that he had breached a protection order by sending text messages.

He was a witness who gave evidence for the Crown at Milner’s murder trial.

Kearns was later sentenced to four months’ home detention for assaulting former All Black Justin Marshall outside a bar in Queenstown.

In April 2015, he was sentenced to eight months’ home detention for selling cannabis, possessing the drug for supply, and unlawful possession of a shotgun.

Kearns claimed in court that the shotgun was for his protection because he had heard “whispers from the prison” that his mother was making threats against his life.

He was nearing the end of that home detention term at the time of the crash, which took place in a 50km an hour area of Wairaki Road, about 7.45pm on December 9.

He was driving the car at more than 111km an hour when he lost control on a left hand bend near Todd Avenue. The car fishtailed and slid sideways, crashing into the back of a parked car, and shunting it 21m forward and onto the footpath.

Kearns’ car continued on and came to rest in a house’s front yard.

The left side of the car – where a woman and Mr Morrison were seated – took the full force of the impact. Mr Morrison died at the scene and the woman received a fractured pelvis, fractured vertebrae, and broken wrist. She spent five weeks in hospital and another four weeks in a wheelchair.

At Christchurch Hospital, Kearns underwent testing procedures for alcohol and drugs. The specimen returned a positive result for the presence of the class A drug methamphetamine.

Kearns told police he had been driving at about 60km an hour when something locked up on the car.

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