A 46-year-old man must pay $500 to the woman he terrified in a road-rage incident that covered 17km of roads across North Canterbury.
Michael Dean Teague was today ordered to make the payment as emotional harm reparations to the woman who declined to meet him at a restorative justice meeting while he awaited sentencing on an intimidation charge.
Teague pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court on June 24. Defence counsel Paul Norcross said he had moved to Blenheim for work, but had now lost his job and had returned to Christchurch to live with his mother.
He was genuinely remorseful and had been willing to meet the victim to apologise. He had very little recollection of the night of the incident.
Mr Norcross handed the judge a letter from the Marlborough District Health Board. “It goes some way to explaining how this came about for a man who has never appeared before the court before.”
Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said the report from Mental Health Services showed the behaviour appeared to be out of character.
The woman he followed had been terrified by his actions, she said in her written victim impact report. “She says she had never been so scared in her life. Your reaction was so over the top it was unbelievable,” the judge said.
He convicted Teague and ordered him to pay $500 to the victim as emotional harm reparations.
The police said that about 10.20pm on April 8, Teague was driving his Mitsubishi Outlander on Glasnevin Road, Amberley.
The woman flashed her lights because Teague’s lights were on high beam and he then braked heavily, did a U-turn and accelerated hard up behind her car.
His vehicle was so close that all she could see in her mirror was the bonnet of his vehicle.
He kept on tailgating the victim for about 3km, while she became frightened and phoned the police.
Teague continued to follow her into Waipara township, where she turned into a dead end street.
She drove to the end of the street, turned around and stopped. Teague stopped in the middle of the road about 30m away with his lights on full beam.
The woman managed to get past him and drove back to State Highway 1 where she drove to Amberley with Teague still chasing her.
The woman stopped outside the Z service station and Teague turned onto another street and drove away. The woman went to a friend’s house and waited for the police.
Police estimated he had followed her for about 17km during the incident.