Cash totalling $5000 went missing from the scene of a high-speed car crash near Kirwee last August.
The driver, 28-year-old Dean Walter Louis, was due to be sentenced in the Christchurch District Court today but the sentencing was put off to let him try to sort out an address where he can serve home detention.
Louis had admitted dangerous driving causing injury to the three passengers in the sports car.
The 20-year-old owner of the car was drunk and a passenger in the car. He had let Louis drive. Louis got into an argument with people in another car at Darfield before driving off at high speed.
Near Kirwee he lost control and crashed into two solid concrete pillars and trees.
The owner of the car received grazes and bruising all over the front of his body, lost a front tooth, had stitches to his face and grazed toes.
He also had $5000 in his wallet. Louis later gave the wallet to an employee of the car owner, minus the cash.
Judge Robert Murfitt said to Louis today: “Somehow $5000 of his went missing from the scene of the accident. I can’t hold you responsible – you were not charged. There is suspicion but there is no proof that you took it.”
Defence counsel Kirsty May argued successfully for a delay for home detention to be reconsidered after the Probation Service rejected the suggested address and recommended imprisonment.
The judge decided to give Louis that chance and remanded him again for sentence on June 16. He suggested Louis was more likely to avoid a prison sentence if he managed to pay reparations for the passengers who had faced losses – including the loss of the car – and the farmers who had $4000 damage to their fence and trees.
Even on Louis’ account, the car had been driven at 140 to 150km an hour on the trip to Darfield. The Police Serious Crash Unit estimated Louis was driving at 169km an hour at the time of the crash.
“The vehicle completely disintegrated. It is nothing short of miraculous that the passengers and you weren’t killed,” said the judge.
Last year, Louis was jailed for six months for receiving a stolen $40,000 vehicle at a car-wrecking business run by him and his father. The judge said he had a poor record of previous convictions including driving at a dangerous speed and sustained loss of traction.