Maze online

The judge accepts special reasons for the disqualified conduct

An Oamaru judge took a lenient approach yesterday to a man who drove while disqualified for witnessing an accident scene.

Rodney Ian Telke (43) had every intention of complying with a court order not to drive after driving drunk last October.

However, lawyer Ngaire Alexander told the Oamaru District Court that Telke could not bear ‘listening to the emergency services passing by his house’ on the night of November 4, knowing that his son was involved in the the accident they witnessed.

“He felt the emotional need to go visit her,” she said.

“If his son hadn’t had the car accident, he wouldn’t have driven.”

Police prosecutor John Somerfield confirmed that Telke’s son had been in an accident.

In sentencing Telke on the aggravated disqualified driving charge, Judge Joanna Maze had to consider whether there was a special enough reason for him to drive that he would not be further disqualified.

His sentence for the drunk driving incident had taken place just two weeks before he was due to drive, so “it should be fresh in your mind,” she said.

However, she acknowledged that he was “driving when [he] had not intended to do so as an impulsive reaction to being informed of an accident involving [his] son”.

“I can understand that your thinking has been impaired, in large part due to your pre-existing and subsequent anxiety resulting from the sudden news.”

Finding that Telke had no other way to satisfy his anxiety than to witness the accident that night to see if he could help, Judge Maze agreed that there were particular reasons for the accident. ‘offense.

He was sentenced to six months in community detention, with weekend curfews, and was not disqualified.