'Bulletproof' lawyer convicted

By Edward Gay

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A lawyer with a "bulletproof" mindset has lost his bid to escape convictions for drink-driving, failing to stop after a crash and using photocopied prescriptions.

Neil Avikash Chand appeared at the Auckland District Court yesterday where his lawyer asked for a discharge without conviction on four separate charges.

Chand had earlier pleaded guilty to two drink-driving offences, careless use of a motor vehicle, failing to stop after a crash, and obtaining property without claim of right by using photocopied medical prescriptions.

The court heard Chand, a former Inland Revenue Department lawyer, was involved in a crash in 2011 and was found to be over the legal breath alcohol limit. Judge David Harvey said Chand was also charged with failing to stop at the scene. But while on bail, four months later Chand was caught drink driving again.

Police also laid charges relating to Chand photocopying medical prescriptions. Judge Harvey said Chand used them on 45 occasions "because you decided the medical profession was not doing what it was supposed to be doing and you self-medicated".

Chand's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, said his client had been working at the IRD but had resigned because of the case and the "underlying problem" that he had.

Mr Mansfield said his client was addressing his problems.

But Judge Harvey said Chand's offending could not be seen to outweigh the potential consequences of the convictions.

He said Chand's offending was aggravated by the premeditation involved in photocopying prescriptions and some of the charges were committed while on bail.

"It is indicative of an attitude you had where perhaps you felt you were bulletproof."

He said Chand was an intelligent man and a "high achiever".

Judge Harvey sentenced Chand to 60 hours of community work, disqualified him from driving for six months, ordered him to undergo drug and alcohol counselling and to pay medical and analysis fees to the police of $173.

Judge Harvey said it would be up to the Law Society to decide whether Chand could continue practising. Chand was not on the society's register online. A spokesman said that would indicate he does not hold a current practising certificate.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 14 Jul 2014 23:00:21 Processing Time: 1275ms