A man who stole a car during during a meth-fuelled "psychotic episode" has successfully appealed his driving ban.

Sean Christopher Bardwell (28) was sentenced to 11 months' home detention on charges of aggravated injuring, unlawfully taking a vehicle, driving while impaired, possession of methamphetamine and dangerous driving causing injury in January.

He took no issue with that penalty but at the High Court in Dunedin last month argued the three-year driving disqualification was manifestly excessive.

At sentencing, the court heard Bardwell's erratic behaviour began a year earlier, after the breakdown of a relationship.


He went on an unscheduled overseas holiday and then in May 2018 took an ''impulsive'' trip to Christchurch, where the incident tookplace.

After a methamphetamine binge, Bardwell walked to Splash N Dash car wash in Addington.

At 1.40am, the victim was cleaning his red Honda with the engine still running.

Bardwell got into the driver's seat and hit the car owner several times in the head as he made a bungled getaway bid.

In his drug-addled, paranoid state, he believed the victim was trying to kill him, the court heard.

Bardwell crashed after only a few metres, leaving the victim with injuries to his knee.

Defence counsel Andrew Dawson highlighted the short duration of the driving involved, the fact there was a single victim, the lack of severe injury and the fact it did not take place in an open public place with high traffic density.

The Crown accepted the penalty imposed by Judge Crosbie in the Dunedin District Court was "stern" but stressed it was not excessive.


Justice David Gendall noted Bardwell had only a short criminal record.

"Mr Bardwell's first sentence of home detention represents a significant punishment in itself, having the potential (given his criminal history) to have a significant deterrent effect on him, this going some way to addressing public safety concerns," he said.

"Moreover, it is difficult to see in this case how Mr Bardwell poses a particularly high risk to public and road safety. Judge Michael Crosbie in the District Court was satisfied that Mr Bardwell had shown real remorse and a willingness to engage in restorative justice. His Honour considered the offending to be 'clearly a one-off situation' and 'out of character', and that it occurred in the context of a 'young man...in the middle of a psychotic episode'."

Justice Gendall said a two-year driving ban was enough to protect the public.