A driver whose car plunged five floors from a car park as he was kissing his dinner date has been found guilty of careless driving.

In March last year Simon Hartnoll, who was 39 at the time, seriously injured his female passenger after he accidentally hit the accelerator and drove off the fifth floor of the Newmarket Tournament car park, in central Auckland.

Judge Christopher Field discharged Hartnoll without conviction, Fairfax reported.

The Auckland man and his date had recently had dinner and had planned to go ten pin bowling before the crash.


Hartnoll and the woman suffered serious injuries in the crash, which a witness said "100 per cent totalled" the car.

Last month an Auckland District courtroom heard that Hartnoll had parked the car and applied the handbrake, but had not put it park.

While leaning over in the car, he hit the accelerator pedal, causing the car to lurch forward and through a barrier, plunging to the street below.

The car hit a parked Nissan below, narrowly missing two women who were inside it at the time.

A police witness told the court the car being left in drive was the primary cause of the crash.

Alcohol was not a factor.

The safety of the car park's barriers was contested in an earlier court case, but it was found the audited car park building was "generally" safe.

Judge Field acknowledged the physical and emotional toll Hartnoll had suffered in the aftermath of the crash and so did not consider a fine or community work to be appropriate.