Road rage trial: 'There was a small bump'

By Edward Gay, Abby Gillies

Sung Jin Kim was left with two broken legs and a shattered ankle after the incident. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Sung Jin Kim was left with two broken legs and a shattered ankle after the incident. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The teenage daughter of a high-flying financial analyst on trial for a road rage incident has tearfully described the moment their car hit the man.

Guy Hallwright, a senior analyst with investment banking company Forsyth Barr, is on trial for causing grievous bodily harm with intent to injure and causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The allegations relate to the morning of September 8, 2010 when Isobel Hallwright, 18, and her father were heading to a music studio in Mt Eden, Auckland, where she had won the chance to record a song.

At Auckland District Court today, Ms Hallwright said she became shaken and was hyperventilating during an altercation between her father and another motorist, Sung Jin Kim, on the journey.

"He (the other motorist) seemed really aggressive. He was red in the face, spit was flying everywhere and his eyes were wide and very angry,'' she told the court.

She said she and her father had been talking excitedly about the recording when they stopped at the busy intersection of Mt Eden Rd and Symonds St.

Another motorist behind them, honked after a traffic light change, she told the court.

After travelling through the lights, her father turned into Mt Eden Rd and into a car park near Galbraith's Alehouse.

Miss Hallwright said Mr Kim drove past and her father "pulled the finger'' at him.

Hallwright got out of the car and approached Mr Kim.

Miss Hallwright said she couldn't hear what was said, but she saw Mr Kim open his door slightly and her dad shut it again and get back into his car.

When her father returned to the vehicle, Mr Kim strode over to their car, stood in front of it and slammed his hands on the bonnet, shouting at her father, Miss Hallwright told the court.

The man then moved towards the driver's side of their car, "so my father moved forward a few inches''.

She could see the man out of her father's window and "he seemed quite far from the car'' when Hallwright drove off, she said.

"After what seemed like a pretty long amount of time there was a small bump while we were driving,'' she said through tears.

"I didn't think at the time it could have possibly hit him but it did.''

She said she didn't turn back but could hear Mr Kim yelling.

Mr Kim was left with two broken legs and a shattered left ankle that required reconstructive surgery. He still has pins in his legs and has difficulty walking.

Crown prosecutor Ross Burns said parts of Miss Hallwright's description in court about where Mr Kim was standing and what was said between her and her father differed from her statement to police on the day of the incident.

Hallwright's lawyer, Paul Davison QC, asked her to confirm where Mr Kim was when Hallwright's car moved forward.

She said he moved towards the driver's door, on the front righthand side of the car, half a metre to a metre away.

After Mr Kim was hit, Hallwright took the next left down Mt Eden road, and stopped to call 111, said his daughter.

Two other witnesses described watching the incident unfold.

Owner of Al Volo pizzeria, Giampiero De Falco told the court he watched Mr Hallwright's car knock Mr Kim down after an altercation between the two men, then it sped away.

"It just went for it. It had no thought of consequences of anything, just put the foot down.''

A second witness, Peter Jennings, watched the incident between passing vehicles from a cafe opposite.

He told the court he saw Mr Kim yelling at Mr Hallwright with his hands on the bonnet of the car and then moving from side to side.

Afterwards, Mr Hallwright's drove into Mr Kim, then sped away, he told the court.

Earlier, Mr Burns told the court that Hallwright left the scene after the incident before calling 111, telling police he needed to drop his daughter off at a music studio.

The trial is set down for five days.

- APNZ

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