A teenage driver who killed an innocent motorist in a horror crash following a police chase through Christchurch in October, has been jailed but the victim's partner says his apology is "not going to help".
Jayden Richard Breakwell lost his name suppression at the High Court in Christchurch today, while being sentenced on charges of manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury.
He was jailed for two years and eight months, and was also disqualified from driving for four years.
Breakwell, who had his 18th birthday yesterday, broke down in tears while the sentence was being read. He had earlier read a letter to the court apologising for running from the police and causing the crash, which killed hospital worker Kenneth McCaul.
In the apology, he claimed he was going to stop himself but the "adrenaline kicked in" and he now regretted fleeing, wished no one had died at the scene, and offered to do "anything he could" to help the victim's family.
Police say the Ashburton farm worker was on a learner's licence when he drove four young friends into town on October 22, before fleeing from one of their patrol vehicles.
The chase lasted for just four minutes and ended when Breakwell t-boned another vehicle on at the intersection of Glandovery Rd and Idris Rd in Fendalton, killing Mr McCaul, who was on his way to work. Several others in the fleeing car were also hurt, with one suffering a serious neck injury.
The court heard how he had reached speeds of up to 110km/h and ran at least two red lights during the chase, and had been encouraged to flee by friends in the car.
Crown prosecutor Pip Currie told the court Breakwell, who was 17 at the time of the crash, had consumed a small amount of alcohol, and was well outside the bounds of his licence.
"The defendant knew he shouldn't have been driving that night, he knew he shouldn't have been in that car.
"There was opportunity to do pull over several times and he failed to do so."
In a victim impact statement Mr McCaul's partner of more than 40 years, Owen Fraser, told the court that the tragedy had left his heart broken.
"I know he is missed by so many as he made an impression on all those he met during his life time," the statement read.
"After doing everything together for 40 years, it's no fun doing it by yourself. I feel numb every day."
The husband said he sometimes wished he was dead so he could be with his late husband, saying "life doesn't feel worth living anymore".
Mr Fraser wasn't at the court hearing but earlier today, when visited at home by 1 NEWS, said an apology was "not going to help".
"It's not going to bring Kenneth back, it's done, too late for that, it's not going to help me."
Justice Cameron Mander urged Breakwell to keep on the straight and narrow, saying tough times were ahead, but if he truly meant his apology he would aim to better his life and the lives of those around him.
"If you truly wish to make amends for Mr McCaul's death and the damage you have caused, you will commit to living a constructive life and to respect Mr McCaul's memory".