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Teen Admits Smash While Fleeing Crime

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch, Feb 2 NZPA - Nineteen-year-old Thomas Joseph Hancy has admitted causing a Christchurch crash that nearly killed a woman as he fled from police in a stolen car.

The woman's serious head injuries -- she had surgery to remove part of her skull to relieve pressure on her brain -- were not thought to be survivable after the crash.

She was in a medically induced coma after the December 5 crash and also received other serious injuries, including broken ribs.

Police say Hancy was doing 120kmh in a 50kmh zone when he went through an intersection against the red light a block before the smash at the corner of Tuam and Durham streets.

He received head and internal injuries and was in hospital for 48 hours before being arrested and brought to court.

He has been in custody since and defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger made no application for his release on bail pending sentencing at a crown sentencing session on March 16.

Christchurch District Court Judge Graeme Noble remanded him in custody for a pre-sentence report, victim impact reports, and a reparation report.

The police do not yet have a figure for the damage he did to the two wrecked cars, a street sign and the front of a building.

Hancy admitted charges of causing the woman grievous bodily harm while fleeing from a crime, reckless driving causing injury to her two passengers, unlawfully taking the car, possession of instruments for taking cars, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for a police car using its lights and siren, and theft of movie tickets from another car.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jeff Kay said Hancy and an unknown associate took the $5000 Subaru station wagon from the Centennial Pool area at 6pm. The associate had scissors to force the ignition after jemmying the door.

The other person got out in Riccarton and Hancy drove back towards town where he was spotted and followed by an unmarked police car. He took off when it activated its lights and siren, driving at 100kmh along Riccarton Avenue.

Other traffic was alarmed and took evasive action as he fishtailed and crossed the centre line, before crashing full-on into the side of the vehicle containing the family at the Tuam and Durham Street corner.

A man in the car he hit received a broken pelvis and a five-year-old girl in a car seat in the back received minor injuries.

Hancy told the police he wished he had stopped for the patrol car, and he never intended anyone to get hurt. He was found with the scissors. His associate had left them in case Hancy stalled the car.

The Christchurch Court News website archives show Hancy was given 60 hours of community work in August 2007 for stealing a bottle of liquor from an inner city convenience store.

In June last year, he was jailed for 18 months for the bashing and robbery of a 14-year-old boy in Linwood school grounds. Hancy was one of five members of the Crips teen youth gang who did the robbery. One of them filmed the event on his cellphone while Hancy cruelly stood over him and demanded he look at the camera.

In July, Hancy was disqualified from driving for 18 months for a series of offences including driving with excess breath-alcohol. That disqualification doesn't end until April this year.

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