A judge in Napier has reserved decisions on appeals against the sentence of two teenagers jailed for being involved in a street-race tragedy in which neither was driving any vehicle linked to the crash.

Jesse Ellmers and Adam O'Sullivan, both of Napier, were passengers in others cars when the crash happened on the night of February 19 last year, killing teenager Maree Schafer, a passenger in a car which left Sandy Rd, Meeanee, and struck a tree just after racing through the intersection with Meeanee and Brookfields roads.

The vehicles, with at least one hitting speeds up to 180km/h, were taking part in an illegal "Holden v Ford" street race.

Appearing in Napier District Court in November, each had been sentenced in November last year along with another youth to two years and three months in jail on charges of being party to offences of causing death and injury by illegal racing, to which they had pleaded guilty.


They were the first passengers in the country to be sentenced under such legislation. At the end of yesterday's High Court hearing Justice Brendan Brown said there were important issues to be considered, previous sentencing having been based on prosecutions of drivers.