Repeat drink-driver ‘punished himself’

An eighth-time drink-driver suffered major injuries when he crashed his Harley Davidson motorbike on SH35 above Makorori Beach last year, Gisborne District Court has heard.

Richard Michael Brown, 44, was on bail for a previous similar offence and disqualified from driving at the time.

He pleaded guilty to careless use and drink-driving.

Brown’s blood-alcohol level (163mgs) was just over twice the legal limit when he lost control on the 65km per hour bend on the hill between Makorori and Okitu beaches.

He careered through a road sign, before the bike — which was written off — came to rest in a wire fence.

It was a third drink-drive offence in as many years for Brown, the court was told.

His injuries were so severe, rehabilitation remained ongoing and would be long-term. His arm was still in a sling when he appeared for sentencing.

Judge Warren Cathcart set a sentence starting point of 20 months imprisonment, before applying discounts and converting it to six months home detention.

Discounts included four months for Brown’s guilty pleas and four months for his injuries — paralysis to his left side, breaks and fractures to his spine and ribs, and injuries to some of his internal organs.

The judge said Brown had effectively punished himself. His injuries led to him finally realising he could have killed himself that day, albeit a pre-sentence report noted Brown lacked insight into the risk he posed to the public.

The judge ordered reparation of $550 for the road sign that was damaged.

Six months standard and special post-detention conditions were also imposed.

An eighth-time drink-driver suffered major injuries when he crashed his Harley Davidson motorbike on SH35 above Makorori Beach last year, Gisborne District Court has heard.

Richard Michael Brown, 44, was on bail for a previous similar offence and disqualified from driving at the time.

He pleaded guilty to careless use and drink-driving.

Brown’s blood-alcohol level (163mgs) was just over twice the legal limit when he lost control on the 65km per hour bend on the hill between Makorori and Okitu beaches.

He careered through a road sign, before the bike — which was written off — came to rest in a wire fence.

It was a third drink-drive offence in as many years for Brown, the court was told.

His injuries were so severe, rehabilitation remained ongoing and would be long-term. His arm was still in a sling when he appeared for sentencing.

Judge Warren Cathcart set a sentence starting point of 20 months imprisonment, before applying discounts and converting it to six months home detention.

Discounts included four months for Brown’s guilty pleas and four months for his injuries — paralysis to his left side, breaks and fractures to his spine and ribs, and injuries to some of his internal organs.

The judge said Brown had effectively punished himself. His injuries led to him finally realising he could have killed himself that day, albeit a pre-sentence report noted Brown lacked insight into the risk he posed to the public.

The judge ordered reparation of $550 for the road sign that was damaged.

Six months standard and special post-detention conditions were also imposed.

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