Jail was the only sentence for a "selfish" driver who fled from police and crashed, injuring his 5-year-old son and the driver of another vehicle.

Tahi Sean Soutar-Whatarau's behaviour was described as "disgraceful" by Judge Deidre Orchard as she sentenced him to 20 months and two weeks in jail for a raft of driving charges.

The 25-year-old earlier pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, driving in a dangerous manner, failing to stop, resisting arrest, refusing to give a blood sample, failing to give his name and address and two charges of dangerous driving causing injury.

He appeared for sentencing in the Whangarei District Court last week.


Soutar-Whatarau committed the offences as a disqualified driver, in breach of a protection order and while subject to a sentence of supervision.

The court summary of facts said he was driving along High St, Raumanga, about 4.40pm on December 15 last year with his estranged partner and two children in the car.

He sped off when police tried to stop him and passed vehicles on State Highway 1, Otaika, at 85km/h in a 50km/h zone.

While trying to swerve around a vehicle, his car flipped on to its side after smashing into an oncoming vehicle head-on. His car slid into the path of an oncoming people mover, its driver suffering a fractured shoulder.

Soutar-Whatarau's unrestrained son had a fractured ankle and an abrasion to his forehead. Police tried to help Soutar-Whatarau exit the vehicle but he responded aggressively and resisted arrest.

By driving in the manner Soutar-Whatarau did, Judge Orchard said he perpetrated indirect violence on his children.

"Here you have a person who was driving while disqualified, he'd been drinking and even had cans in the car, he was in breach of a protection order, had his estranged partner and his two children in the car and one was unrestrained."

In May 2013, he was convicted of driving with excess blood alcohol and in March 2017, Soutar-Whatarau was convicted of refusing to give a blood sample and driving while disqualified.


"He could have been standing there with two children dead. He's a very lucky man. He really doesn't have an insight into what he did. He didn't have a thought for anyone else. It was straight selfishness," Judge Orchard said.

"Anybody in any of those vehicles could have easily lost their lives because of your selfish behaviour."

At the conclusion of his sentencing, Judge Orchard said she hoped as Soutar-Whatarau got older he realised the impact of his driving on other road users.