20 Aug 2012

Killer driver crashes weeks after getting licence back

8:22 pm on 20 August 2012

A killer driver who sparked a ministerial inquiry has crashed his car after having his licence back for just two months.

Jonathan Barclay was convicted of manslaughter after he killed Debbie Ashton in a head-on smash in Nelson in 2006.

In 2011, Barclay was released from prison and allowed to get his full licence back in June this year after completing a defensive driving course.

At the time of the fatal crash, he was disqualified from driving - both under his own name and that of a new identity issued under the witness protection scheme.

The ministerial inquiry found failures by the police and Department of Corrections, which led to a government apology to the Ashton family.

Police say Barclay crashed again last week after doing a U-turn in front of a truck on the Hawke's Bay expressway. They are deciding whether to lay charges.

Barclay and his three-year-old passenger are in hospital in a stable condition.

Debbie Ashton's mother, Judy Ashton, says she has been told by the Parole Board that Barclay will be recalled to prison when he is discharged from hospital.