16 Dec 2019

Teen who fled police and killed motorist sentenced

4:53 pm on 16 December 2019

A teenage driver who killed another motorist while fleeing the police in Christchurch has been sentenced to two years and eight months' jail.

Christchurch crash

Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The 18-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury over the fatal crash, which killed 64-year-old nurse Kenneth McCaul at the intersection of Glandovey Road and Idris Road, in Christchurch at about 4am on 22 October.

Name suppression on Ashburton teen Jayden Richard Breakwell, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was lifted today by Justice Cameron Mander at the High Court at Christchurch on Monday.

In a tearful statement, Breakwell said he was egged on by a passenger and wished no one had died.

He offered to help Mr McCaul's partner Owen Fraser in anyway he can, including mowing the lawns and doing the gardening, which was a hobby for Mr McCaul.

Victim Support also read a statement on behalf of Mr Fraser, who did not go to the sentencing.

Mr Fraser said Mr McCaul was "loved unconditionally" by many who knew him.

He said he was finding it hard to come to terms with the death of his partner of 40 years.

He said "every day is a struggle" and that "life was so unfair" to have taken Mr McCaul away from him.

Mr Fraser said he doesn't plan to do rituals the couple did together, such as putting up Christmas lights.

He said he is also having to get used to being on a single income, and will likely have to sell their Kaiapoi house.

Sitting behind the dock, Breakwell wiped away tears as the victim impact statement was read out, and was supported by his emotional family in the public gallery.

In his sentencing, Justice Mander accepted the teen was influenced by passengers he was travelling with, but said ultimately the driver takes responsibility.

Breakwell, who was on his learner's licence, reached speeds of up to 90 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h area while fleeing the police.

He also ran numerous red lights in central Christchurch, despite being signalled to stop.

Breakwell has also been disqualified from driving for four years.

Justice Mander reduced the sentence from a starting point of five and a half years due to Breakwell's age, early guilty plea and remorse.

He did not impose a minimum non-parole period.