New charges against alleged chase driver

Court House-Sept-2013-06Three charges of reckless driving causing injury have been laid against the driver of a car who allegedly fled from the police, crashed through a road block on Yaldhurst Road, and then struck another vehicle head-on. The driver, Graham Theo Payne, 56, of no fixed abode, is denying all charges and electing jury trial. He was earlier refused bail, and refused again in an appeal to the High Court. An application for his release on electronically monitored bail was refused by Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll yesterday and Payne was remanded in custody for a case review hearing on April 13. New charges were laid ahead of yesterday’s bail hearing. They allege that he drove recklessly and caused injury to three elderly people who were in a car struck head-on in Yaldhurst Road at the end of November 24 incident. All three were admitted to hospital in serious condition after the crash. Police chased the car after it left Christchurch Airport after picking up a woman who was suspected of being a drugs mule. That woman, 27-year-old Kylie Natasha Puna, of Onehunga, has since pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing $18,200 of methamphetamine, hidden internally, for supply. She is due for sentence on February 25. Payne was charged after the crash with failing to stop for a police car using its lights and siren, and reckless driving causing injury to two people who were in the car being chased – Puna and a man, Dean Guiney – and aggravated wounding of a police officer to avoid arrest. Police alleged the officer was injured when the car crashed through the police roadblock on Yaldhurst Road, before it crashed head-on into a silver Honda Jazz containing the three elderly people who were injured.

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