Tracey Chatterton at Dom Post reports:
A prominent Napier lawyer has admitted to carelessly driving into the car of lobbyist Garth McVicar.
Defence lawyer Nigel Hewat, 65, collided with a car being driven by the Sensible Sentencing Trust chairman on July 26 last year.
McVicar, of Te Pohue, was driving the trust’s sponsored Hyundai on his way to a meeting about 5.50pm when the incident happened.
Hewat had been driving along the 100km/h-zoned Napier Rd, the Napier District Court was told today.
He drove into the driver’s door of McVicar’s car while turning right into Lawn Rd.
The impact spun McVicar’s car full-circle before it crashed into a power pole, bringing the power lines down.
Hewat parked his car about 75 metres away from the intersection and walked away from the scene.
You send another car into a power pole, bringing power lines down and you walk away?? I’m sorry but that is criminal.
McVicar, who was not injured, and another motorist found Hewat and brought him back to the scene.
Hewat left again only to be picked up by the police walking along Lawn Rd.
And after he was brought back, he again left the scene. And this is not a dumb 19 year old. This is a lawyer.
At the time Hewat told police he did not know he had collided with another vehicle.
Really? You did not notice the crash?
Appearing in the Napier District Court this morning, Hewat pleaded guilty to careless driving and failing to stop to ascertain whether anyone was injured.
He had intended to defend the charges but changed his plea to save the court time and money, his lawyer Roger Philip said.
Love to hear how he could defend them.
Mr Philip said Hewat was an experienced criminal lawyer who knew he was obliged to check if anyone was hurt. However, he was traumatised and confused from the impact.
‘‘Even today he can’t explain his actions,’’ Mr Philip said.
I think the word we are looking for is won’t, not can’t.
Hewat was fined $850, ordered to pay court costs and disqualified from driving for six months.
That’s an appallingly light sentence for twice fleeing the scene.
McVicar was next to a cyclist, and it would have been all too easy for her to have been killed if McVicar’s car had been pushed into her.