A Waimakariri man who was convicted of a "lengthy and sustained sequence of extraordinarily bad and dangerous driving" was yesterday sentenced in the Greymouth District Court.
Dilwyn John Clements Edwards, 53, was travelling from Christchurch to Greymouth on November 7 last year driving at excessively high speeds, performing numerous dangerous overtaking procedures and forcing other drivers to take evasive action.
Edwards was frequently on the wrong side of the road, and crashed into a car on Taramakau Bridge. He also overtook five vehicles in one go, and drove the wrong way across the busy traffic island near McDonald's in central Greymouth, forcing a number of vehicles to take evasive action.
Edwards was judged by police, using time and distance measurements, to have driven at speeds of up to 120km/h around Greymouth High School, forcing other drivers to take evasive action. He also weaved across Tainui St repeatedly at high speed.
Edwards drove on the wrong side of the road to Kaiata and stood in front of an oncoming milk tanker, getting into the cab and telling the driver he had a gun, and demanding that the driver drive him away from the scene.
Judge Tony Couch said it was lucky the truck driver had jumped out of the cab with the keys, although he had been left "very shaken by the experience".
"Your conduct was truly appalling," Judge Couch told Edwards.
"You put the lives of numerous members of the public at serious risk. It was a matter of extraordinary good fortune that no one was hurt in these events."
The judge described the whole episode as a "lengthy and sustained sequence of extraordinarily bad and dangerous driving".
Edwards was charged with one charge of dangerous driving, which was a representative charge, three charges of reckless driving, and one charge of intimidation. He was sentenced to six months' community detention, 12 months' supervision, 200 hours of community work and banned from driving for five years.
- Greymouth Star