A Queenstown man who admitted leaving his critically injured girlfriend at the scene of a car crash has had his claim he spent two weeks by her side at hospital questioned by a judge.
Sahil Sudhir Shetty (26), of Queenstown, was due to be sentenced in the Queenstown District Court by Judge Bernadette Farnan today, having previously admitted a charge of aggravated careless driving causing injury to Marie Spendig on March 13.
Miss Spendig, from Germany, was critically injured when the Honda Odyssey she was a passenger in crashed over a scrub embankment on Gorge Rd and became wedged between the embankment and a building.
She ultimately spent almost a month in Dunedin Hospital's ICU on a ventilator following emergency brain surgery.
A scene examination concluded the car had been heading from Queenstown towards Arthurs Point at speeds between 65kmh and 72kmh in the 50kmh zone.
Shetty, who was the driver, failed to negotiate a slight right-hand bend, crossed the centre line, left the road, drove over the bank and crashed into the building.
Shetty told police when he was interviewed on March 26 he had consumed five drinks.
While his recollection of events up to the crash was "very good'', all he recalled afterwards was waking up with gravel around him, glass in his hair and ''no vision'' of the car.
He told police he had walked back to town, asked a member of the public for a ride home, went to sleep "and woke up wondering what had happened to his girlfriend''.
A DNA sample from the blood in the driver's side of the vehicle confirmed Shetty was the driver.
Judge Farnan granted an adjournment requested by police, given to prepare submissions in response to those received from Shetty's lawyer, Bryony Shackell, late last week.
She said there was also conflicting information contained in Miss Spendig's father's victim impact statement, and Ms Shackell's submissions.
The latter had referred to Shetty "spending time with the victim, effectively at her bed side, for a period of about two weeks'', Judge Farnan said.
"That information appears to be at odds with comments by the victim's father ... he refers to having a conversation with the defendant and making it clear to him that he was not willing to have him visit the complainant whilst she was in hospital.''
He is now expected to be sentenced on December 9.