Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Driver jailed for killing pedestrian

Add a comment
Raymond Green was sentenced in Tauranga High Court yesterday.
Raymond Green was sentenced in Tauranga High Court yesterday.

The Crown is considering appealing a jail sentence imposed on a Papamoa man who killed a Russian national on a Tauranga road last year.

Raymond Green, 33, was yesterday sentenced to six years, eight months' jail.

He admitted to the manslaughter of 33-year-old Ilya Olegovich Kojevnikov on Welcome Bay Rd on February 2, 2015.

Mr Kojevnikov died after being struck by a car driven by Green at high speed, who then failed to stop and drove off at excessive speed back to his home.

Green appeared in the High Court at Tauranga yesterday for sentence following his jury trial last month when he originally defended one count of murder.

After the Crown closed its case, Green offered to plead guilty to manslaughter.

He earlier admitted to two further charges; driving while disqualified and refusing an enforcement officer's request to provide a blood specimen (both third or subsequent offences).

These charges stemmed from the same incident.

Justice Christian Whata said he was satisfied the aggravating features to Green's offending demanded the imposition of a minimum non-parole period of 50 per cent. He also disqualified Green from obtaining a driving licence for seven years and imposed 12 months' concurrent sentences on each of the other driving charges.

However, Crown prosecutor Anna Pollett sought a jail sentence of eight to nine years with an 18 months' uplift for prior convictions, after taking into account the "aggravating and premeditation aspects" to Green's offending.

That included Green's decision to do a U-turn after the victim kicked out at the vehicle, and deliberately drove back at speed intending to sort the victim out, knowing the deceased and his associate were on the road, she said. Ms Pollett said Green had an "appalling" driving conviction record, and that warranted a seven-year disqualification to be imposed upon his release from prison to safeguard the community.

She also sought a non-parole period of at least half of the jail sentence.

Green's lawyer Tony Rickard-Simms said his client was remorseful and had been prepared to admit a charge of dangerous driving causing death from the outset.

Mr Rickard-Simms said all the elements of that charge were incorporated in the manslaughter count, and the Crown at any time could have offered to amend the charge before trial.

Green should not be penalised for his late guilty plea, but he accepted an uplift of 12-18 months for his prior convictions was warranted, he said.

Mr Rickard-Simms said the evidence showed Green did not deliberately drive at the victim who, the CCTV footage showed had taken two steps into the road. Justice Whata told Green: "I am satisfied that you drove well in excess of the 60km/h posted speed limit and drove in the order of 80 to 100km/h which was plainly reckless. After striking Mr Kojevnikov you drove off at break-neck speed, and failed to stop to ascertain injury despite urging by your passenger Mr Butler to do so, who felt threatened by you.

"But I reject the Crown's submission that the instant you did the U-turn showed premeditation to strike the victim and find it was a reckless act rather than premeditated or or overtly intentional." Outside court Ms Pollett said the Crown would refer the case to the Crown Law office for consideration whether to appeal the sentence.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 28 Sep 2016 08:01:32 Processing Time: 634ms