10 May 2017

Police defend careless driving prosecution of MP

8:53 am on 10 May 2017

Police are standing by their decision to prosecute National MP Chester Borrows on a charge of careless driving.

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows

Whanganui MP Chester Borrows Photo: RNZ

Yesterday he was found not guilty of careless driving causing injury after a two-day trial at the Whanganui District Court.

The charges were brought after two women were injured by his car at an anti-free trade protest last year.

Mr Borrows has questioned why he was charged in the first place and why both a junior and senior prosecutor were used for a routine matter.

Police said they followed the Solicitor General's guidelines when deciding to prosecute.

Superintendent Sue Schwalger said the decision to prosecute was made at district level, and the Crown prosecutor was involved to avoid any perception of a lack of impartiality.

Despite the not guilty verdict, a woman struck by Mr Borrows' car remains convinced he used his vehicle as a weapon.

Denise Lockett suffered soft tissue damage after being hit by the vehicle and was disappointed by the court's decision.

"He wears a white ribbon that protests violence against women and yet he used his vehicle as a weapon against women. I felt it happen very quickly. We didn't have a chance to get out of his way because he kept coming."

Mr Borrows said he believed his actions were completely prudent and reasonable in the circumstances.

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