A man, who rammed five people into the Avon River in a moment of road-rage and later assured them they have no reason to fear him, has been jailed for three years.

John David Malcolm McLaren Savage, 27, was remorseful and wrote the victim's letters of apology after the March 25 incident, said his defence counsel Clayton Williams.

"They appear to have ongoing fear of him. There is no basis at all for that," Williams told Christchurch Court News.

None of the five victims were at the Christchurch District Court today to see Savage sentenced despite his apologies and assurance that he did not mean to cause them more harm, Christchurch Court News reported.


Savage had also penned a letter to Judge Alistair Garland the month after he pleaded guilty to charges of reckless driving causing injury to five people and assault using a bottle as a weapon said Christchurch Court News.

Today, Judge Garland also disqualified the man from driving for three years and ordered him to pay $13,090 reparations to the victims by instalments once he is released.

Williams said Savage's education had been limited because he left school at 14 due to his violent behaviour. He had three children, aged 7, 3, and 11 months, reported Christchurch Court News.

Christchurch Court News said the court was told the five victims were in a car stopped at traffic lights at the corner of Bealey Avenue-Sherbourne St, when Savage pulled up beside them.

When they drove off, he rammed into the back of their car twice.

The car sped up on Barbadoes St in an attempt to lose Savage, but he chased them, crashed into the sides of their car, and tried to ram it into parked vehicles and power poles, causing it to lose control and spin out, according to Christchurch Court News.

Savage finally hit the victim's car in the back rear corner, spinning it sideways. He accelerated, causing the car to flip backwards into the Avon River, Christchurch Court News reported.

Savage parked his car along the road and went to the riverbank, while two victims hid fearing that he would kill them.

Savage threw several items including a bottle that hit one of the victims, cutting their head Christchurch Court News were told.

One of the victims yelled at Savage: "What are you doing? What have we done?", Christchurch Court News said, before calling out "what's your name?"

Christchurch Court News said Savage called back: "I'm John f-g Savage and don't you forget it." He then drove off.

The victims received multiple injuries including a torn shoulder, bruises, cuts to the face, head, hands and arms. One lost the top of her finger, and one had a chipped bone in the leg according to Christchurch Court News.

One of the victims who had cystic fibrosis was hospitalised from swallowing water.

The $8000 car was written off said Christchurch Court News.

Christchurch Court News said Savage told police he had been "on acid" and was not really sure of what had happened.