A lawyer who drove the wrong way around a Napier roundabout has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

Philip Jensen was driving west on Napier Terrace on November 23 last year before he went the wrong way around a small roundabout on the Napier Hill.

The Napier man took the illegal shortcut at the intersection with Spencer Rd and Sixty Fifth St before continuing on to Hospital Terrace.

The summary of facts said the 61-year-old had no vision of possible traffic coming out of the adjacent Sixty Fifth St, which had the automatic right of way into the intersection.


It also said Jensen crossed on to the wrong side of the road and drove in this manner for about 50 metres before nearing the roundabout intersection.

As Jensen went through the roundabout at a speed of between 50km/h and 60km/h a police patrol entered the intersection from Spencer Rd, missing the defendant's vehicle by about one car's length, the summary of facts said.

Extensive planting on the eastern side of the intersection blocked the view of Spencer Rd from Napier Terrace and all roads at the junction were undulating which also impaired driver vision.

The patrol car that closely missed Jensen's vehicle immediately activated its siren and flashing lights and Jensen was stopped a short distance away.

In explanation, he initially stated he had not driven the wrong way through the roundabout and, when asked again, became agitated and asked for police to issue him with the appropriate notice so he could leave.

Jensen defended one charge of dangerous driving at a judge-alone trial in the Napier District Court on Monday.

This week, Judge Lance Rowe said he found the charge had been proved, stating he would release his reasons in writing at a later date, and said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant's driving was dangerous.

He convicted Jensen before fining him $500 and disqualifying him from driving for six months.


The maximum penalty for dangerous driving is three months' imprisonment or a $4500 fine.