Name to stay secret in mowing incident case

By Sam Hurley

The 76-year-old man has gained name suppression after being sentenced to six month home detention for causing the death of a little boy.
The 76-year-old man has gained name suppression after being sentenced to six month home detention for causing the death of a little boy.

A Hastings District Council tractor driver, sentenced to six months' home detention for causing the death of a 4-year-old boy in a mowing incident, will continue to have his identity hidden.

The man, aged 73, had interim name suppression until 5pm yesterday, allowing time for his defence counsel Andru Isac to appeal Judge Jonathan Down's decision to drop name suppression.

The appeal was lodged with Napier District Court yesterday afternoon and grants the driver interim name suppression until a date is set for the appeal.

After entering a guilty plea in May to driving a vehicle dangerously, causing the death of Uetaha Dahtanian Ransfield-Wanoa, the driver was last week sentenced to six months' home detention, 100 hours' community work, disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay $5000 reparation.

The tragedy occurred at Kirkpatrick Park in Hastings on October 8, 2013, when Uetaha was run over by the tractor-mower while chasing the machine and playing with two other children, aged 10 and 8.

An outpouring of public support for the driver has overwhelmed social media sites, after it also emerged that he was also haunted by the loss of his own son in a similar tragedy.

A Givealittle page was set up to help raise money for the $5000 reparation. "This Givealittle page has been set up for the Hawke's Bay tractor driver that I believe was given the wrong sentencing," a message on the page said.

"This was a tragic accident and I believe that the grief this man has gone through already is a big enough price.

"I understand this will never bring the wee boy back nor will [it] take the pain away from the families of both parties." The Hawke's Bay Today Facebook page also received more than 200 comments and more than 18,000 views as the local community reacted to the driver's sentencing.

Sherayde Lewis posted: "It's a tragedy on both sides. To the old man who has to live with the horror of what he did, each and every day. And to the young parents who lost their child so tragically. It was a terrible accident."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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