The young man whose driving in an illegal street race contributed to the deaths of four people has evaded prison after he was sentenced to 12 months' home detention.

Dylan Cossey, 21, was also ordered to complete 400 hours' community service and was disqualified from driving for seven years.

The sentence has been slammed by family of one of the victims as inappropriate and not hard enough.

Cossey, the driver of a Honda Integra involved in the fatal race on June 24, 2016, was found guilty in February of manslaughter and street racing causing injury for his part in the tragedy.

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Stephen John Jones - Cossey's passenger who was filming at the time of the crash on the outskirts of Hamilton - was found not guilty of manslaughter but guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice after he edited incriminating video evidence of the race.

Both men, aged 18 at the time of the crash, were found guilty of failing to stop after witnessing Lance Robinson's Nissan Skyline smash into an oncoming van.

Jones was heard on the video yelling "Gap it bro".

Today at the High Court in Hamilton Jones, 20, was remanded for sentencing on May 3 after listening to the victim impact statements of the family members of the victims.

Hamilton woman Hannah Leis Strickett-Craze, 24, Paul De Silva, 20, and Robinson, 28, both of Te Awamutu, and Jason McCormick Ross, 19, of Stratford died in the crash. A van driver who was seriously injured has name suppression.

Stephen Jones will be sentenced for his part in an illegal street race that killed four people, on May 3. Photo / Natalie Akoorie
Stephen Jones will be sentenced for his part in an illegal street race that killed four people, on May 3. Photo / Natalie Akoorie

Justice Anne Hinton described Cossey's driving decision-making as immature and stupid but said he did not cause the crash on at 10pm that Friday night near the intersection of Penniket and Ohaupo Roads.

"You were not the driver directly responsible for the collision. I have concluded you are substantially less culpable."

The court heard how Robinson, who had three times the blood alcohol level and traces of cannabis and methamphetamine in his blood, began racing with Cossey at speeds of up to 140km/h just north of Te Awamutu as the two carloads of young people travelled toward Hamilton.

None of the two groups knew each other. At one point Robinson overtook two cars in a passing lane and almost crashed into another oncoming car.

Cossey was in his own lane and decelerating when Robinson overtook him and pulled back into the correct lane, before losing control on a slight bend and fishtailing into the path of the plumbing company van.

"The other driver's greater level of culpability is reinforced by his dangerous driving leading up to the crash," Hinton said.

The court heard from Robinson's family when his mother and stepfather read out victim impact statements.

Hannah Leis Strickett-Craze's son must now grow up without his mother after she was killed in a crash during the illegal street race. Photo / Facebook
Hannah Leis Strickett-Craze's son must now grow up without his mother after she was killed in a crash during the illegal street race. Photo / Facebook

Phobie Howarth said the loss of her only child had broken her.

She said Robinson was the reason her life was previously so wonderful.

"For me the sun rose when he smiled and nothing was as amazing as his love.

"Lance was a 28-year-old man but he was still a loving, present and attentive son."

Now she suffered a "bone-deep loneliness" and isolation and her family was listless without Robinson.

Howarth said if Robinson survived he would have owned his "mistake" and accepted responsibility for his actions.

She told Cossey it terrified and saddened her that his actions demonstrated a lack of disregard for the law and for the lives of the deceased.

"I worry for your future. Your actions have hurt so many."

She asked Hinton to give a fair and just sentence and she hoped the impact of a sentence would awaken Cossey and Jones to their offending.

Howarth also urged Cossey to make the most of the rest of his life and cherish the mother-son bond he still has with his own mother, something Howarth had now lost forever.

Robinson's stepfather Rob Howarth said his "mate" Robinson, whom he raised from the age of 6, would be ashamed of the grief he had caused.

Four people were killed in the crash outside Hamilton Airport. Photo / Supplied
Four people were killed in the crash outside Hamilton Airport. Photo / Supplied

Rob Howarth said the family did not condone Robinson's actions that night but that they had been "convicted" in the court of public opinion, despite losing their loved one.

Strickett-Craze's mother Erica Strickett-Fraser told the court the loss of her youngest daughter was unbearable.

She said her daughter, who was about to set up her own business, had dreams and goals for herself and her young son that she would now never accomplish.

"My beautiful daughter will never be the blushing bride. She will never get to walk down the aisle. Her sister will never be her bridesmaid.

"She will never get to see her son grow up. The sense of loss is unbearable. We are heartbroken and will always remain so."

Strickett-Craze's father, Paul Craze, said he found out his beloved daughter had died when he read the news online on the Monday morning.

"When it was confirmed my world all but died around me."

He was scathing of Cossey and Jones for fleeing the scene, calling them cowards and said he could understand if they panicked but their actions afterwards could not be forgiven.

Craze said the pair had shown no remorse, had never apologised, tried to hide incriminating evidence, and colluded and lied over their involvement.

Amber De Silva, the aunt of Paul De Silva, said their family had been rocked to the core by her nephew's death and they were still trying to come to terms with life without him.

The court heard De Silva, the only child of Maria De Silva, was just months away from his 21st birthday and had plans to be a 50/50 sharemilker.

"Ever since he was a little boy he loved being on the farm," Maria De Silva said in her victim impact statement read to the court by the Crown.

Strickett-Craze was a mother to a young son, Levi, and De Silva was a father to little boy, Cosmo, just 3, with Narissa Ryan.

"He was a good father," Maria De Silva's statement said. "It is such a devastatingly heartbreaking loss for me.

"I hope this teaches you a valuable lesson," she directed at the defendants. "I hope you never go through such sorrow and I hope you never cause such sorrow again."

Paul De Silva was one of four victims who died in the illegal street race. Photo / Facebook
Paul De Silva was one of four victims who died in the illegal street race. Photo / Facebook

In sentencing Cossey, Hinton said Cossey had demonstrated little in the way of remorse for the victims and their families but she took into consideration the impact of the crash on the aluminium manufacturer mentally, noting a recent short stay at mental health facility the Henry Bennett Centre.

"I accept that you are remorseful though you have strange manner in showing it. Your perception is that your racing was managed and the accident was not your fault. The fatal flaw in your thinking is the effect your racing had on Mr Robinson's driving."

She said Cossey's sentence was not about revenge for the deaths but of denouncing his behaviour and a long prison sentence at his age would unjustifiably derail his future.

But she was not so lenient on Cossey's ability to drive.

"Your behaviour to date suggests you have issues of self-entitlement, impulsivity and stupid and rash decision-making while you are driving, especially when you are with your peers, and you need to be kept off the road while you are young."

She sentenced him to 12 months home detention on the four manslaughter charges, six months home detention to be served concurrently for racing causing injury and four months, also concurrent, for failing to stop.

She added the maximum community work, 400 hours, and disqualified Cossey from driving for seven years.

Outside court De Silva called the sentence a joke.

"Cossey's behaviour has never shown any remorse ... He's treated this whole court case like an inconvenience," she said.

"The judge has not given an appropriate sentence in that it doesn't show a hard line for street racing. I think it should have been tougher."

Hamilton Police Detective Inspector Daryl Smith called the circumstances tragic but avoidable.

"It's pretty clear from the proceedings this morning and the victim impact statements this morning, that the impact of the decisions made by those involved are going to have long-term effects on the families of the deceased."