A 17-year-old Masterton youth who stole a motorbike and later crashed it into its owner, causing multiple injuries including the loss of the man's finger, was sentenced to 100 hours of community work in Masterton District Court yesterday.
Jason Hart pleaded guilty to breaking into a garage to steal the motorbike from his friend Briggs Pilkington and also to dangerous driving causing injury.
About 4.30pm on September 25, Hart went to the South Belt property where he kicked in the door of the shed, breaking the hinges. Hart then cut the chain securing the $1000 125cc bike and went for a joyride.
Mr Pilkington saw Hart riding his bike at Queen Elizabeth Park later that day and attempted to stop him, police prosecutor Sergeant Garry Wilson said.
Moments later, Mr Pilkington was walking on a pathway when he heard the motorbike coming up behind him. He did not have time to get out of the way and the motorbike careered in to him.
The incident caused extensive injuries to Mr Pilkington's right hand, including the loss of a finger which had to be reattached in hospital.
He also sustained cuts to his legs and facial bruising.
Hart was later found by police and told them he had taken the motorbike "to go joyriding". The defendant had no previous convictions.
Judge Ian Mill told Hart the offences were at the higher end of the scale but he recognised that the defendant regretted his actions. "Your friend endeavoured to stop you and you recognise he suffered very serious injuries," he said.