Five years jail for drug-fuelled Porirua driver whose actions caused woman's death

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NZN

A man has been jailed for five years after his drug-fuelled reckless driving during a police chase through Porirua led to the death of his female passenger.

Justice

Source: 1 NEWS

Damian Andrew Lawson, 43, was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington today after earlier admitting a charge of reckless driving causing death.

Justice Susan Thomas jailed him for five years and also banned him from driving for five years after his release.

In May last year Lawson, with the 21-year-old victim beside him, was being chased through Porirua by police.

He reached speeds of 107km/h before losing control and hitting a tree.

The victim, whose name is suppressed, suffered fatal injuries as her side of the car was squashed to a third of its size.

Her mother read out a victim impact statement to the court on Friday, but the details were also suppressed.

Justice Thomas said Lawson had consumed methamphetamine and cannabis on the night of the accident and he had a warrant out for his arrest.

He was not supposed to be driving unless supervised and had multiple previous driving convictions.

Justice Thomas said Lawson had showed remorse but the high level of culpability, and the high number of previous diving convictions, meant the starting point for sentencing was six years.

"You have accepted full responsibility and are remorseful but you decided to drive under the influence of drugs and you decided to drive recklessly.

"If not for your actions, the victim would still be alive."

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