Boyracer ‘used cars as toys’ during street race

Car-red-rearA boyracer was told he was lucky not to be facing a jail sentence for manslaughter after running over a man on Russley Road during a street race.

Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan told 20-year-old William James Henry Le Grys: “Hopefully this will be the end of you using cars on the open road as toys.”

Legislation passed by Parliament in recent years had been directed at what was colloquially called “boyracer culture” and was aimed at preventing this kind of incident occurring, said the judge.

He told Le Grys: “You are lucky you are not here on a manslaughter charge, or dangerous driving causing death, which would have meant a prison term.”

Le Grys had been remanded for sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of inciting a street race in which someone was injured and failing to stop after an injury accident.

The co-offender driving the other car had already been sentenced to home detention and disqualified. When the other car crashed into a culvert during the race on July 2 on Russley Road, a passenger who wasn’t wearing a seat belt was thrown from the vehicle and Le Grys ran over him before driving off.

Defence counsel Kirsty May said Le Grys was remorseful and had the support of his family and his employer, who was about to start him on a building apprenticeship. It was clear it was a situation where neither driver had thought about the possible consequences.

The victim suffered an unstable fractured pelvis, fractured left collar bone, and punctured lungs. He was in hospital for several days.

Judge Callaghan said the victim was philosophical and bore no grudge though he had suffered substanial injuries during a race where speeds reached 150km an hour.

Le Grys was remorseful and was “mainly a first offender”.

He imposed four months of community detention with curfew conditions that will keep Le Grys at home in Christchurch every night and most of the weekend, but will still allow him to work.

That meant he could become “a pro-social member of the community” and pay $1000 to the victim as emotional harm reparations, said the judge.

Le Grys was also disqualified from driving for a year.


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