Masterton teen on jail path, says judge

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A Masterton teenager whose reckless driving rampage included deliberately ramming two police cars was warned yesterday he was on the path to prison.

Judge Denys Barry told Dylan John Terry, 17, it was rare for judges to hear of acts of such "concentrated stupidity" of the type Terry had embarked on in mid-June.

Terry had earlier pleaded guilty to burglary, reckless driving, failing to stop for police and two charges of aggravated assault relating to ramming the two police cars.

He was sentenced to six months' community detention, nine months' supervision, had his driver's licence cancelled for 18 months and was ordered to pay reparation of $33,450 at the rate of $50 a week.

The burglary was of a shed at Taratahi Agricultural Training Farm in which Terry - traced by DNA tests of blood left at the scene - drove an all-terrain vehicle through closed roller doors, after loading it with chainsaws, post hole borers, tools, a battery backpack and 400 litres of diesel.

Thirteen days later, he went on a reckless driving binge after leaving a Raglan St party, having arrived there already drunk and then consuming at least 12 bourbon and cokes.

He refused to stop for police who pursued him, driving through mid-Masterton at high speed, with his female passenger screaming at him to stop.

When he did stop, he deliberately reversed into a police patrol car, again fled and later rammed another patrol car, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Terry abandoned the vehicle he had been driving in Third St, Lansdowne, and when found on foot in the early morning of June 17 denied he had been driving, but handed himself in to police later that day.

At sentencing yesterday, Jock Blathwayt, who represented Terry, described the teenager's actions as "a brain explosion", saying his client realised he was in trouble and had done wrong.

But Judge Barry said a probation report revealed Terry had shown little remorse for his offences or towards his victims.

"Seldom does one strike two pieces of concentrated stupidity, let alone attributed to one person within two weeks," Judge Barry said.

Terry was on a path to prison, a journey that would not be too long in coming, the judge warned.

"These are serious offences that you wrought on a law-enforcement agency trying to keep the streets safe and an organisation founded to help those wanting education in the rural sector," Judge Barry said.

Terry will be on curfew during his term of community detention, from 6.30pm to 4.45am Monday to Friday and 6.30pm to 7am on Saturdays and Sundays.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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