Driver gets community sentence over police chase

Police car-Sept2013-03A 22-year-old driver involved in a police chase was sentenced to home detention and community work in the Christchurch District Court.

Ryan Victor DeSouza, 22, took a Nissan from The Palms shopping mall on July 13 and abandoned it after its gear box was damaged. A stereo, radar detector and items worth a total of $1400 were taken from it.

On July 14 DeSouza and two associates went to the same car, took off the number plates, and tried to tow it.

A witness phoned the police and the car towing it was stopped, DeSouza was found steering it during the towing.

On August 17 a Toyota was stolen from Eastgate Mall. About 11pm on August 24 DeSouza sped off in it when police tried to stop it, and he ended up following another pursuit by the police, of a car driven by 20-year-old Brandon Alan Niven.

DeSouza drove through a residential area at about 80km an hour, through two red lights, and finally crashed into a car in Briggs Road. He ran off from the crash without checking whether the other driver was injured.

After the other police chase at the same time, Niven pleaded guilty to his charges of taking a car, interfering with another car, failing to stop for police, reckless driving, and several charges of unlicensed driving, and will be sentenced on December 2.

DeSouza was sentenced on two charges of unlawfully taking cars, driving twice while unlicenced, failing to stop for police, dangerous driving, failing to stop to ascertain injury, and a breach of bail. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching a supervision order, after failing to do a course recommended by his parole officer.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said DeSouza had been in custody since the end of August, and sentenced him to three months’ home detention, and 200 hours community work. He also disqualified him from driving for 12 months, and ordered reparation of more than $3000.


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