Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Sleeping driver who bowled young family sentenced to $25k fine

A woman and two small children were seriously injured after being struck by Raymond Horscroft's SUV as they walked along Otamarakau Valley Rd. Photo/File.
A woman and two small children were seriously injured after being struck by Raymond Horscroft's SUV as they walked along Otamarakau Valley Rd. Photo/File.

The Pukehina man who fell asleep while driving and bowled a mother and her two young children as she pushed a pram has faced his penalty in court today.

Raymond Cecil Horscroft, 75, was sentenced in Tauranga Community Magistrate Court to an $25,000 emotional harm payment and six month disqualification from driving after earlier pleading guilty to three charges of careless or inconsiderate operation of a vehicle causing injury.

On September 14, 2016, Horscroft drove towards his home on Otamarakau Valley Rd in same direction his three victims were walking.

Horscroft fell asleep but awoke to see his SUV heading towards the mother and her children and pulled the steering wheel hard to the left, but it was too late.

The 33-year-old mother suffered huge injuries to her leg and back, while her then 11-month old son sustained severe injuries to his body and head.

Her 2-year-old daughter was propelled about 10m through the air and came to rest on a farm track, and suffered several injuries, including to her face.

Community Magistrate Robyn Paterson said a punative or retributive sentence was not warranted in the circumstances and the focus of the court should be on the emotional harm and disqualification from driving.

Mrs Paterson said she also took into account this was Horscroft's first appearance in court, and never even received a traffic infringement notice.

Mrs Paterson accepted his letter of remorse was sincere and heartfelt.

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