An Auckland man who killed three people after deliberately crashing into their vehicle in Hamilton three years ago will now be sentenced in December.
In June, Reuben William Maharaj, of Glenfield, pleaded guilty to three charges of manslaughter of Jeremy Kay, 47, and Tania Kay, 44, and Grace Hill, 16, and one charge of dangerous driving causing injury to Mitchell Kay.
Maharaj was due to be sentenced in September and subsequently a new date was set down for next week.
However, with the Waikato remaining in level 3 - and the families of all the victims, as well as Maharaj's parents wanting to attend the sentencing - in a short hearing via audio visual link in the High Court at Hamilton today, Justice Graham Lang adjourned his sentencing until December 14.
Crown prosecutor Rebecca Mann also requested further information from the defendant's appointed psychiatrists who prepared reports about his mental state, including the level of risk.
Mann told Justice Lang there wasn't enough detail in the reports, including how the writer came to his findings, and urged him to order further information be sought.
After discussions with Maharaj's counsel, Ron Mansfield, the judge agreed it wasn't substantive enough and ordered that a more fulsome report be provided.
Mann said there were family of the victims in both Auckland and its surrounds as well as Hamilton that would like to attend the sentencing, at least virtually.
Justice Lang agreed that given the need for further information and the inability of families, and Mansfield, unable to enter Hamilton due to Covid restrictions, that next week's sentencing be adjourned until December.
Maharaj was remanded in further care of Waikato DHB's Henry Bennett Centre until then.
The crash - November 11, 2018
Mitchell Kay had just gone to pick up his parents and girlfriend, Hill, from a 21st birthday just after midnight on November 11.
At the same time, Maharaj, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia but was unmedicated at the time, had earlier fled his parents in one of their vehicles from their North Shore home after an argument.
Other motorists had noticed Maharaj's "aggressive" driving on the journey south before he entered Avalon Dr.
About 800m south of the roundabout, Maharaj, now aged 34, accelerated and drove with a sudden or sharp swerve, crossing the centre line into the oncoming northbound traffic and collided with the Holden Trax being driven by Kay.
Witnesses described seeing a "big puffy [sic] of black smoke" coming out of Maharaj's exhaust, and he appeared to be speeding up, before he was seen driving on the wrong side of the wrong.
Kay was in his correct lane, driving about 78km/h, and tried to take evasive action, by braking and swerving. The vehicles ultimately collided, killing his parents and girlfriend.
Kay was hospitalised with a cracked vertebra, a fractured skull, broken collar bone and bruised lungs.
When spoken to by emergency services, Maharaj acknowledged that he had struck Kay's vehicle and apologised for their deaths.
He said he had left his home as he was having "problems with his life situation and just wanted to get away after an argument with his parents", the court summary of facts stated.
History of suicide attempts
Maharaj had been hospitalised on multiple occasions since 2013 complaining of voices in his head.
He had on more than one occasion driven his vehicle dangerously in response to the voices.
On August 8, 2015, Maharaj had requested mental health services at North Shore DHB to get in touch with him on his cellphone.
He reported driving faster than the speed limit the previous night and had thoughts of driving into a traffic island. He had driven outside road markings due to being angry and frustrated at the voices in his head.
And a month later, on September 5, he drove his vehicle into a concrete wall.
Again, he told health services he did that due to the voices in his head. He was also unmedicated at the time.