Rob Kidd

Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Killer drink-driver bailed ahead of appeal

Joel Bowlin has admitted the  drink-driving charges laid over the death of his two friends.
Joel Bowlin has admitted the drink-driving charges laid over the death of his two friends.

An Auckland man who was jailed after crashing while drunk and killing two of his friends has been bailed ahead of his appeal.

Joel Dylan Bowlin, 22, was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment by Judge John Bergseng after admitting to causing the deaths of Ashley Walsh 20, and Tye Gibbs, 19.

Bowlin was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay $650 in reparation to a property owner whose fence was damaged in the crash.

But in the High Court at Auckland today, his lawyer John Munro indicated they would appeal the sentence of imprisonment and sought bail ahead of that hearing.

Justice Ailsa Duffy granted the application as Bowlin's supporters in the public gallery wept with joy and mouthed their thanks.

On August 24 last year about 2.45am, Bowlin was driving a van along Old North Rd, Kumeu. It was foggy at the time and road conditions were said to be good but damp on the 80km/h stretch.

Bowlin lost control at a right-hand bend, veering right then left and then leaving the road.

The summary said the van rolled violently over an open drain before smashing into a wall and coming to a stop upside-down.

Mr Gibbs, who was wearing a seatbelt, and Ms Walsh, who wasn't, died at the scene.

Bowlin's blood alcohol reading immediately following the crash was 113mg per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

The case will go before the Court of Appeal later this year.

- APNZ

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