A 25-year-old man who crashed a stolen car in Christchurch while under the influence of methamphetamine has been jailed.
Kawharu Rangipoua Koopu was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment on a raft of charges when he appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday.
The charges included receiving property, dangerous driving, resisting arrest, driving under the influence of drugs, unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle, assault on a person in a family relationship, two charges of assault with intent to injure, injuring with intent to injure and threatening to kill.
Koopu was also sentenced for assaulting a prison officer and assaulting another prisoner while he was in custody.
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During sentencing Judge Jane Farish said she was concerned for Koopu.
“You are a young man, you are 25 years of age, and I need to sentence you today on quite serious charges,” she said.
On March 11 last year, Koopu drove a stolen Nissan car down Bealey Ave about 6am. When he approached the intersection of Madras St, he swerved onto the opposite side of the road and drove into oncoming traffic.
He turned left into Barbadoes St at speed and ran a red light at the intersection of Edgeware Rd, crashing into another vehicle.
Koopu was injured and taken to hospital, where a test showed he had methamphetamine in his blood.
Later that day, Koopu was arrested and escorted from hospital by police. He struggled to break free and had to be physically restrained by police and hospital security staff. He was removed from hospital in a wheelchair, but when police tried to put him in the patrol car, he jumped up and sprinted away. Koopu ran less than 10 metres before he was caught and restrained.
Koopu was also convicted on six other charges after assaulting a person in a family relationship between March 4 and 6 last year. He slapped the victim repeatedly across the face, kicked, punched and spat on the victim and burned the victim with a cigarette. The victim suffered bruising to the face, cigarette burns to the chest, cuts to the inside of the mouth and a cut above the left eye.
While Koopu was in custody, he grabbed a police officer when he was pepper-sprayed while he was a bystander during a prison fight. He also punched another prisoner when he thought the prisoner was laughing at him.
Crown prosecutor Pip Norman said the victim of the family violence offences was ”extremely vulnerable” and still struggled with ongoing trauma due to what happened.
She said although the driver from the other car involved in the crash was not seriously injured, he suffered psychological trauma from the incident.
Koopu said he was “deeply regretful” for his actions.
Koopu was also disqualified from driving for a period of one year.
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