A man who deliberately fishtailed his car before crashing and killing a passing jogger, has been sentenced to two years and four months behind bars.

Caroline Boyd died in March 2017 in Paekākāriki near Wellington, when she was hit by the car Nathan James Lyon was driving.

He lost control of the unwarranted Mazda RX7 and the car spun 180 degrees, before hitting the footpath and Boyd on the opposite side of the road.

Lyon was disqualified from driving at the time. He previously pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death, reckless driving causing injury, and driving while suspended.


Boyd died at the scene.

The verdict prompted tears in the High Court in Wellington, as Lyon's partner sobbed, and Boyd's family hugged each other and cried.

Boyd's daughter, Becky Cooke, read out a victim impact statement that described her mother as the "heart and soul" of their family.

"The one everyone turned to for advice, the one we all shared a laugh with. The one whose warm hug and smile would always make things better," she said.

"At the time of her death she was in a very good space.

"She was enjoying working under less pressure, having the time to read and catch up with friends, and spend time in her beloved bach on the weekends.

"She was happy, and she was looking forward to the future."

Cooke said her mother would have been "furious" about being hit by a car, as she always feared that.


"Caroline would be angry that her life ended too soon, and that she wouldn't be able to do all the things that she had planned.

"There are so many precious occasions that have been cruelly taken from her. She would be devastated at not being to attend her childrens' graduation, celebrate their wedding, or meet her grandchildren."

Her family now want more done to stop disqualified drivers from driving.

As part of the restorative justice process Lyon told them he would take part in a video, to tell others about what he had done, and how deeply he regretted it.

Cooke said Lyon had promised to never drive again, and that they would hold him to that, while still acknowledging his remorse.

"But what about the many other drivers who have a history of driving while disqualified?

"Why is driving a motor vehicle seen as an entitlement, rather than a privilege to be earned and maintained through respectful, safe driving practices?

Runners, comprising either 5km or 10km distances, line up for the Caroline Boyd Memorial Walk/Run. Photo / Jan Nisbet
Runners, comprising either 5km or 10km distances, line up for the Caroline Boyd Memorial Walk/Run. Photo / Jan Nisbet

"There must be another path for drivers locked into this arrogant mindset with profound disregard for the rights of others.

"It is not acceptable to kill or injure an innocent person to learn this lesson, as Nathan Lyon has done.

"There must be some kind of intervention that can change the thinking of these drivers before real life consequences occur.

"What does driving while disqualified mean if there is no effective sanction, or if communities look the other way?

"There appear to be no meaningful courses of action available for dealing with repeat infringements. Our challenge now is to enable constructive change."

She said they wanted their mother's legacy to be meaningful change, and people understanding that a car can be a lethal weapon.

In sentencing, Justice Susan Thomas acknowledged that the jail term would mean Lyon's partner lost her job, as she would have to become the primary caregiver for their children.

She also acknowledged Boyd's family in the public gallery, telling them the sentence was no judgment on the value of Caroline Boyd, and never could be.

Justice Thomas said the restorative justice process had produced an "exceptional" change in Lyon, including the promise to take part in the video, and not drive again.

She noted comments where he said he could "never be sorry enough" for what had happened.

"There is no need to protect society from you, except as far as your driving is concerned.

"You are obviously a good and loving husband, father, and stepfather, contributing to your family."

Lyon was also disqualified from driving for four years.