Police v Gilliland [2018] NZDC 22323

Published 01 November 2018

Application for discharge without conviction — road rage incident — Sentencing Act 2002, ss 106, 107. The defendant pleaded guilty to injuring the victim while having reckless disregard for her safety. He applied for a discharge without conviction on the grounds that a conviction would be out of proportion to the gravity of the offence. The defendant had become involved in a road rage altercation with the victim, the victim suffering a broken wrist. The court found that the offending was moderately serious, despite the defendant's argument that it was minor. The defendant had behaved aggressively, causing the victim serious injury. Despite the defendant's claim to have heightened sensitivity to driver errors, the victim had in fact made no error and posed no danger to pedestrians. The court then examined the consequences of a conviction. There was no suggestion that the defendant would lose his employment if convicted, although the defendant argued that a conviction might hamper his career advancement. However the court found that overseas travel was still possible, albeit subject to a time-consuming process of seeking visas to enter various countries. Finally the court found that, given the gravity of the offending and the uncertainty of the consequences for the defendant's overseas travel plans, a conviction was not out of proportion to the gravity of the offending. The application was declined. Judgment Date: 31 October 2018.