More Top Stories

Rugby Union

Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Questions raised over reparation quotes in careless driving matter

Monday 16 October 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National


Questions raised over reparation quotes in careless driving matter

A man charged with drink driving, and awaiting his day in court, went out and did it again.

Teenui Taia appeared in the Criminal Court on Tuesday last week on two counts of excess breath alcohol and one of careless driving.

Defence lawyer Mark Short said it appeared Police and Probation submissions were consistent.

The reason it had taken such a long time to sentencing was because the defendant did not have a lot of money.

Short had sought three quotes for reparation.

“I want it recognised by the court because he is willing to follow directions, I ask that the lowest quote be imposed. $1495 as opposed to $3280 and another quote for $2274,” Short said.

“I am always mindful that any formal reparation doesn’t put him in a position where he can’t survive.

“In the past I have fought reparation, he wants to accept responsibility. There are circumstances that have been stressful which I can’t discuss in court. He realises the consequences and is sorry for what he has done.”  

Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro said she had had a good look at the quotes,

“I notice this repair is only for the front door and the other quotes have included the rear door in their quotes,” she said of the cheapest quote.   

Police confirmed the cheapest quote only included the front door of vehicle, the cheapest quote was just a single door.

Short said there were instances where repairers looked for other damage and hiked up their prices.

He was aware of complaints about repair work from one repairer, and had made small claims against them.

JP Taoro said, in that case she was satisfied with the cheapest quote.

The summary of facts showed that on November 24, 2022 about 10.50pm, the defendant drove a motorcycle on the Main Rd at Tupapa, and crashed into another vehicle, during an overtaking move.

He received serious injuries to his leg and hand, and a breath test showed he had 670 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

On June 23, 2023, just after midnight, a crash near Super Brown, Tupapa was reported.

Taia suffered injuries to his leg, arm and face, and it was only him involved.

He was taken to hospital, where a blood test showed 285 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

He was single with no dependants, self-employed, while his income was inconsistent.

Taia had accepted and acknowledged his wrong doings and there were no excuses.

He had apologised and sought leniency, also apologising to the victim.

“What the court noted is that it seems like you didn’t learn your lesson from the first incident,” JP Taoro said.   

“While you were waiting on the first charge, you went and did it again.”

Probation had recommended 12 months of probation with the first three months served as community service, not to consume alcohol or enter licenced premises, and attend workshops as directed.

Police said the aggravating feature was that he offended while waiting to appear on a similar charge.

JP Taoro agreed to the quote of $1495.

“The 670 mcg reading is very high, the schedule of fines says $750 as a starting point but given your financial situation, the court has decided to impose probation, 12 months of probation, abstain from purchase and consumption of alcohol, don’t enter licenced premises, attend workshops as directed, disqualified from driving for 12 months.”

He was ordered to pay reparation of $1495 via the court, plus court costs of $50.

On the other charges, “EBA 285 mcg per 100 ml of blood, this is also very high, again the court has decided not to impose a fine,” JP Taoro said.

“You are convicted and sentenced to 18 months of probation as a starting point. Court needs to impose a higher sentence because you offended twice, 18 months of probation as a starting point, a 33 per cent discount, total probation is 12 months, with the first three months as community service, abstain from consumption and don’t enter licenced premises.”  

In addition, he was further disqualified for 12 months, disqualification was effective from October 12, 2024.

“When you complete your fist disqualification then the next day you start your next disqualification,” JP Taoro said.   

Court costs of $50 were added and the sentence of probation would be served concurrently, meaning he would actually serve 12 months of probation, with the first three months to be served on community service.

For careless driving, he was fined $67.