A learner driver who led police on a 23km-long high-speed pursuit while banned from driving for his part in a fatal street race has been sentenced.
Dylan Chad, 20, appeared in Waitakere District Court today and was sentenced to four months community detention, 18 months of intensive supervision, and disqualified from driving for a further six months.
He was charged with reckless driving, failing to stop for police, and driving while disqualified after the February 17, 2016 chase.
In February, 2014 Chad and his friend Calum Elliot jointly pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of their best mate Tyler Hoyle, who died in a high-speed street race in 2013.
Chad's lawyer, Tony Beach, told the court today his client made a "life-changing, fight or flight" decision when he led police on the pursuit through West Auckland last year.
Police attempted to stop him on Cottle Rd, after he had taken some friends home earlier in the night.
But, Chad "freaked out and panicked" at the prospect of going to prison when he saw the flashing lights, Judge June Jelas said.
"You put your foot down."
Chad reached speeds of up to 130km/h during the chase, along roads including Waitakere Rd and Don Buck Rd.
At one point during the pursuit, in a desperate attempt to evade the law, Chad turned off his headlights.
Chad was "effectively driving blind" at 110km/h, Judge Jelas said.
She said Chad passed three cars on a blind corner and barely was able to maintain control of the car while speeding around corners.
"The driving was appalling ... you showed a complete disregard [for safety]," the judge said.
The police Eagle helicopter joined the pursuit and Chad abandoned the car in some bushes. He was tracked down by police a short time later.
Jelas said Chad had not only placed the lives of the public and himself at risk, he had also risked the lives of the pursuing police officers.
Camera footage of the pursuit taken from the Eagle helicopter could not be released to the Herald for "operational reasons", police said.
During the fatal August 1, 2013 street race Chad and Elliot were speeding down Scott Rd, Hobsonville when Elliot's vehicle struck Hoyle, who died instantly.
Then teenagers, Chad and Elliot were both sentenced to nine months home detention and a three-year driving ban.
Beach said since the race Chad had been "grappling" with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a psychiatric report.
However, the police pursuit was also the second time Chad has been caught driving while disqualified since the fatal crash.
He was stopped by police in Massey in June, 2015 on Waimumu Rd, just a few minutes' drive from the scene of the fatal drag race.
Chad, who was supported by his mother and grandparents in the public gallery, declined to comment when approached by the Herald outside court.