Drink-drive coach fronts up

By Kathryn Powley

Teacher says he'll talk to pupils about conviction, and he's hoping he can keep his job

Gordon Hunt was fined and banned form driving for seven months. Photo / Daily Post
Gordon Hunt was fined and banned form driving for seven months. Photo / Daily Post

A teacher and sports coach convicted of drink-driving after smashing into a power pole and a parked car is preparing to explain himself to his students.

Gordon Sidnie Hunt, 38, told the Herald on Sunday that the conviction should not reflect on his role as a teacher but on his personal circumstances, and he hoped to keep his job.

Hunt is Rotorua Boys' High School's Year 12 dean, head of the sports department and coach of the first XV.

After the August crash, he was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 201mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The limit is 80mg.

Hunt said he was embarrassed by his actions and it was likely he would talk to his students about it this week.

"I probably will, when I get back to school. I have to face the consequences of what's happened," he said. "But, to be honest, I'm grateful I'm even here."

Hunt broke his leg in the accident, and was on crutches at Rotorua District Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to charges of drink-driving and careless driving.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Roger Schreuder told the court Hunt lost control of his car while driving through a Rotorua intersection at 5.25am on Sunday, August 18.

It mounted the kerb and crashed into the pole and parked car, damaging both.

His lawyer, Brian Foote, said the incident had cost Hunt more than $20,000. His uninsured car was written off and he had paid reparation to the owner of the parked car.

Community magistrate Lesley Jensen told Hunt it was fortunate he hadn't killed himself or someone else. She thought he had an issue with alcohol, which could be addressed through supervision.

She sentenced Hunt to six months' supervision, fined him $1,000 with costs of $333 and disqualified him from driving for seven months.

Yesterday, Hunt said he'd told the school and Teachers Council of the conviction.

"I don't think I'm a bad person. I just made a wrong decision.

Teachers Council spokeswoman Charlotte Brown said the complaints assessment committee investigated when a teacher was convicted of an offence punishable by three months' jail or more.

Actions ranged from no action to referral to a disciplinary tribunal - which could suspend or cancel a teacher's registration.

Previous tribunal decisions include censuring, not de-registering, a teacher convicted of refusing a blood-alcohol test, de-registering a teacher with four drink-driving convictions, and censuring a teacher convicted of drink-driving.

- Additional reporting: Rotorua Daily Post

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

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


© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 28 May 2017 09:35:20 Processing Time: 711ms