Teenager Daniel William Taylor has been jailed for 15 months for a red-zone house burglary and for speeding through a red light at a busy Linwood intersection at 100km an hour.
The Aldwins Road-Ferry Road intersection was busy with traffic in all directions, the court was told at Taylor’s sentencing.
“How you didn’t collide with someone else’s car and cause serious injuries or death we will never know,” Christchurch District Court Judge Alistair Garland told the 19-year-old.
Taylor has been on the methadone programme since he was 16. He blames his offending on his unstable upbringing, and his choice of associates. His behaviour went out of control after the death of his father in August.
He was appearing for sentencing on two charges of burglary, driving while his licence was suspended for excess demerit points, failing to stop for the police, and dangerous driving.
Defence counsel Donald Matthews asked for a reduction of the sentence for Taylor’s guilty pleas, his age, and on compassionate grounds relating to his father’s death.
He spoke of Taylor’s unstable upbringing in Australia and New Zealand, with his parents, and foster homes, and violence at the hands of his stepfather.
Judge Garland said Taylor had been caught red-handed by police, raiding copper piping from an abandoned red-zone house in Cumnor Terrace, Woolston. He said he was going to sell it to get money for smokes.
He was later caught raiding a house that was vacant and being renovated in MacKenzie Avenue, Linwood. He caused $824 damage while he was trying to remove the hot water cylinder.
On October 9, while his licence was suspended for demerit points, he was spotted by the police driving a car through a McDonald’s drive-through in Linwood. He accelerated away and did not stop for the police car’s flashing lights.
Police abandoned the high-speed chase through Linwood when Taylor drove through the Aldwins Road-Ferry Road intersection at about 100km an hour.
About 90min later he was sighted by police riding home on a bicycle. He told them he had driven off because he thought he would be arrested for driving while suspended.
Judge Garland said it was another case where a young male fled from the police to avoid being caught for a driving licence offence that might have brought a fine and some disqualification.
“You were prepared to put yourself and other road users in serious danger when you went through a red light without stopping. You could have killed someone,” said the judge.
He added a three month jail term for the driving offences to the one-year sentence for burglary, jailing Taylor for a total of 15 months, disqualifying him from driving for 15 months, and ordering reparation of $824 for the damage to the house.