Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Charges devastate wife, court told

Photo / File
Photo / File

The wife of a Wellington man charged with careless driving, resulting in the death of their unborn baby, is devastated about the charges and does not want court action to continue, a court was told today.

Bililigne Yohannes Gebretsadik has pleaded not guilty to three charges of careless driving, resulting from a collision in Wellington in June last year.

He appeared in the Wellington District Court today, where he was supported by about a dozen people.

His lawyer John Miller told Judge Oke Blaikie the charges had been difficult for Gebretsadik's wife.

"It's been devastating for her and it's been devastating for the family."

Gebretsadik was driving a car through Newtown with his 40-year-old wife in the passenger seat when he crashed.

His wife was 31 weeks pregnant and was injured, and their baby died after an emergency caesarean.

The driver of the other car was also injured.

Mr Miller proposed two separate status hearings for his client.

The first to establish whether Gebretsadik was driving carelessly, and if he was cleared of that the charge relating to the death of his unborn baby should be dropped.

If he was not cleared at the first hearing, the second status hearing could determine if there was a causal link between the crash and the death of the foetus.

Judge Blaikie agreed and remanded Gebretsadik on bail until April for the first hearing.

He also noted the "intense" media interest in the case.

Some media, including overseas agencies had visited the Gebretsadiks' home on a "regular basis", Judge Blaikie said.

"They have huge trauma, which I suspect has been brought about not by the charges but by the events."

He asked media to "tread with caution" when approaching the family.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf02 at 20 Dec 2014 09:59:30 Processing Time: 436ms