A man whose careless driving caused the death of a tourist has been sentenced to community detention, community service, has lost his license and has been ordered to pay his victims $12,000.

In May last year, Carl Maurice Brown, 37, crashed into the back of a Honda in East Auckland critically injuring Dutch woman Margaret de Vries, 64, and seriously injuring her daughter, Rivka, and three young grandchildren.

At the time of the crash, Brown was breaching the conditions of his license as he was meant to be driving with a fully licensed driver.

After 104 days in hospital, Ms de Vries passed away and Brown was charged with careless driving causing death and three counts of careless driving causing injury. He pleaded guilty to all charges.


This morning at the Manukau District Court, Judge Frances Eivers sentenced Brown to six weeks' community detention, 200 hours community service, disqualified him from driving for 18 months and ordered him to pay $12,000 in reparations.

"I hope that this sentencing process is going to put this behind you, but nothing of course is ever going to replace someone so important and so special," she told Mrs de Vries' husband, Philip, and daughter, Rivka, who had both flown to Auckland from the Netherlands for the sentencing.

Judge Eivers said she took into account Brown's early guilty plea, his remorse and the fact he shared custody of his young son so did not have much time to give to community service.

But she said the court needed to address the terrible impact the crash has had for the de Vries family.

"The result of the accident has been hugely traumatic and tragic for this family. They've lost their mother, their grandmother and a wife. A family has lost a matriarch."

Judge Eivers noted the road was semi-rural with many driveways, it had been raining so the tarseal was slippery and while he had been texting minutes before the accident it was not a factor in the crash, neither was speed or alcohol. She said the route cause of the collision was inattention.

"There should have been factors warning you to perhaps take more care on that day - a wet road, a narrow road, a car stopped in the middle indicating."

Throughout the sentencing, including Mr de Vries' reading his impact statement, Brown was quiet and appeared exhausted and reflective. As Judge Eivers read her sentence, did not react.