Killer teen driver sent to youth justice facility

By Andrew Koubaridis

The mangled wreck of Fitzpatrick's car after the crash. Photo / Jason Dorday
The mangled wreck of Fitzpatrick's car after the crash. Photo / Jason Dorday

A 16-year-old has been sentenced to six months in a youth justice facility for killing a motorist during a high-speed collision in Auckland earlier this year.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was driving a stolen Subaru Forester and racing through industrial Mt Wellington early on January 7 when it smashed into a car driven by 22-year-old Shaun Fitzpatrick.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death, dangerous driving causing injury and failing to stop after an accident.

At the Auckland Youth Court today, the teenager was sentenced to six months detention in a youth facility and banned from driving for two-and-a-half-years.

The court was told the teenager had been racing a friend through East Auckland streets in a car that had been stolen a few hours earlier. At times he reached speeds as high as 160km/h.

He eventually lost sight of his friend and did a U-turn to go back and look for him - but when the friend went racing past he gave chase and went through a red light, colliding with Mr Fitzpatrick who was driving through the intersection.

The teenager and his cousin, who was in the car with him, got out of the damaged car and ran away without checking on Mr Fitzpatrick, who died at the scene.

The teenager was put into Child Youth and Family custody after his arrest but escaped from a supervised home. At the time CYF operations general manager Grant Bennett said the youth was supposed to be monitored constantly but took advantage of a "brief opportunity''.

- APNZ

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