An emotionally charged sentencing at Taupo district court this afternoon has ended with home detention for an 18-year-old charged with dangerous driving causing death.
Trey Church was 17 at the time, when on November 2 last year on a stretch of road near Turangi he overtook two cars at excessive speed, lost control and slammed sideways into a tree causing critical injuries to himself and his two passengers.
Church, his cousin Zane Church and friend Orlando Bell were all flown to Waikato Hospital. Bell died 24 hours later from massive brain injuries.
A theme throughout the sentencing was that there were no winners in all of this, something acknowledged by the respective lawyers and Judge PR Connell.
Judge Connell also acknowledged there was an element of racing behaviour as Church knew the occupants of the two vehicles he passed, as well as there being very small amounts of cannabis and alcohol in Church's blood test at hospital.
He said: "Despite being a first time offender and a valuable member of your community you must understand that when you drive like this there are consequences."
He sentenced Church to 10 months home detention, 150 hours of community work, $1500 of emotional harm reparation to each victim and disqualified him from driving for 4 years.