Despite Douglas Robert Scott ramming into his former partner’s car three times before crashing into a wire barrier on the Waikato Expressway south of Hamilton near Tamahere, she was not injured. Photo / 123rf
High in a methamphetamine-fuelled rage, Douglas Scott tailgated his ex-girlfriend’s car before crashing into the back of it at high speed twice, sending it into a 360-degree spin, before ramming it again, pushing it into a wire barrier.
Miraculously, the victim was not injured. But almost 13 months on Scott appeared in the Hamilton District Court before Judge Noel Cocurullo for sentencing on multiple charges connected with the incident including assault with a weapon and reckless driving.
“This was some of the worst driving offending I have ever seen,” Judge Cocurullo told Scott’s counsel, Ashley Beech.
The offending was the culmination of harassment by Scott who, in the weeks before, made three one-cent deposits into his ex’s bank account, each time with an abusive code and reference relating to a protection order she’d had served on him.
The pair had been in a relationship for 10 years and have two children together, the court heard on Friday.
However, when the offending took place they had been separated for some time.
On November 17 last year Scott was driving on Cambridge Rd, near the Morrinsville Rd roundabout, when he spotted the victim go through the roundabout and head south.
Scott became stuck behind multiple vehicles but eventually got free of them and sped to catch up to the victim on the State Highway 1 expressway near Tamahere.
He tailgated her before ramming the back of her car at high speed.
He continued driving “erratically”, manoeuvering each side of her car before smashing into the rear, right side of her car, sending it into a spin and into the wire barrier.
As the car came to a stop he rammed the front right corner, before fleeing.
In court, Beech argued for community detention and intensive supervision for his client, saying Scott had effectively been on a year-long sentence already at home at his parent’s Bay of Plenty property under strict conditions.
Scott had been productive though, completing two six-week programmes for drug addiction, two others for supported living along with a 20-week non-violence programme, narcotics anonymous, and individual and group addiction sessions.
She added Scott had a “difficult” upbringing but had since received attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] diagnoses.
Despite being on a benefit he had also saved more than $300 towards reparation.
But Judge Cocurullo said Scott was old enough to know better.
“He’s a mature man at age 38. He knew at the age of 36, 37 what he was getting into … he was a fully grown man,” the judge said.
“To come back on his ADHD is a real stretch isn’t it?” the judge asked.
“He’s not a 17-year-old. He didn’t go down the motorway and smash into this car because of his ADHD. He did this because he was under a methamphetamine addiction.”
Beech held steady on her fight to keep her client out of prison, adding that he was keen to get back to his beekeeping job and had strong family support.
Judge Cocurullo ultimately agreed to keep Scott out of jail, given all the work he had put into his rehabilitation, but said the offending was too serious for anything less than home detention.
Scott, who was supported in court by family, was instead sentenced to four months’ home detention and disqualified from driving for 18 months.
He was ordered to pay emotional harm of $1150 and reparation, due to damage done to the car, of $3850.
Belinda Feek is an Open Justice reporter based in Waikato. She has worked at NZME for eight years and has been a journalist for 19.