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Man rammed four vehicles after being refused alcohol

Annoyed a shop keeper refused to sell him alcohol, a man went on a rampage ramming four vehicles, including a police one, which was subsequently written off, Gisborne District Court was told.

Daniel Brady, 31, forest worker, pleaded guilty to four charges of intentional damage and dangerous driving.

Judge Turitea Bolstad calculated an end sentence of 12 months imprisonment but converted it to six months community detention and nine months supervision, with six months driver disqualification.

The conversion was partly to enable Brady to continue working so he could pay $6000 reparation — $500 to each of two of vehicle owners involved and $5000 towards a $19,000 loss suffered by police in writing off their vehicle.

(The court heard police vehicles are not insured and if damaged beyond repair as this one was, are written off. The loss comes out of the police operations budget.)

Part of the sentence also covered cancellation of Brady’s fines debt, which totalled about $2350.

Judge Bolstad said the incident on June 25 this year, was effectively a road rage one.

Angry at being refused a purchase of alcohol, Brady got in his car and rammed other people’s at Tikitiki and Ruatoria.

He entered a property where a police officer lives with his children and grandchildren. For Brady to have done that without warning or provocation showed he has serious issues, the judge said.

The sentence she imposed was also designed to help him.

The judge asked whether the case had gone to restorative justice, noting previous adjournments were granted for it. Restorative justice was an especially important process for cases like this where the people involved all had to continue living in the same small town, the judge said.

She did not want there to be any hostility as Brady now needed to get on with his life and focus on his work and family.

Brady said there was a positive restorative justice meeting between him and a representative from Te Runanga O Ngati Porou in relation to one of its vehicles.

The police officer involved in the case said Brady’s bail conditions previously barred them from speaking but Brady apologised to him at the courthouse just ahead of this sentencing. The officer said he was not someone who held grudges and in a small town, it was unworkable to do so.

Two other people whose vehicles Brady damaged chose not to meet with him.

The sentence starting point for the lead charges — the intentional damage ones — was 22 months with one month’s uplift for Brady’s previous relevant convictions. There was a full 25 percent discount for his guilty pleas and a further 10 percent discount for remorse beyond that inherent in the pleas. Brady also received three months discount for 95 days he spent in custody on the charges.