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Kiri Allan sentenced on crash, refusing to go with police

Author
Melissa Nightingale,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 May 2024, 11:05am

Kiri Allan sentenced on crash, refusing to go with police

Author
Melissa Nightingale,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 May 2024, 11:05am

Kiri Allan has been convicted and fined for refusing to accompany police after crashing a car while over the drink driving limit.  

The disgraced former Justice Minister pleaded guilty this morning to the charge. She had earlier admitted a charge of careless driving.  

Allan was due to go on trial in the Wellington District Court this morning for an incident in which she crashed into a parked car while over the legal alcohol limit, then refused to go with police. She ended up being arrested and held for a night in the cells after the incident in July last year.  

But having pleaded guilty at the last minute, she was convicted and sentenced to a fine of $300, and ordered to pay reparation of $5296.  

Allan, who resigned her portfolios and left politics after the incident, had elected a judge-alone trial, earlier telling the Herald she wanted to test an apparent grey area in the law about the right to consult a lawyer.  

This morning, Allan maintained her legal advice suggested there was a case to be argued.  

“The last year has been challenging and is a chapter I am wanting closed,” she told the Herald.  

“This case is a bookend to that and while the legal advice I received made it clear there was a case to be argued, I’m focussed on the future, my whānau and concentrating on what’s important.”  

A photo taken in the aftermath shows her vehicle on an angle, in the middle of the road, with the headlights pointing in the direction of the ute she had collided with.  

After the crash, Allan allegedly refused to accompany police and was arrested and held in the police cells overnight.  

Allan had earlier said she pleaded not guilty to the charge of failing to accompany a police officer to test what she saw as a grey area “based on the legal principle that all New Zealanders are entitled to consult with a lawyer”.  

Allan had requested to speak to a lawyer immediately before and after her arrest by police. 

The Bill of Rights Act states everyone who is arrested or detained under any enactment must be informed at the time of the arrest of the reason for it, and “shall have the right to consult and instruct a lawyer without delay and to be informed of that right”. 

But this morning in court, a registrar confirmed to media that Allan had entered a guilty plea on the papers and would not be appearing in court today. 

The matter will still be called later this morning, but Allan will not be present. 

SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION 

Where to get help: • Lifeline: Call 0800 543 354 or text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7) 
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: Call 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7) 
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 
• Youthline: Call 0800 376 633 or text 234 
• What's Up: Call 0800 942 8787 (11am to 11pm) or webchat (11am to 10.30pm) 
• Depression helpline: Call 0800 111 757 or text 4202 (available 24/7) 
• Helpline: Need to talk? Call or text 1737 
• Aoake te Rā (Bereaved by Suicide Service): Call or text 1737 
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111 

Melissa Nightingale is a Wellington-based reporter who covers crime, justice and news in the capital. She joined the Herald in 2016 and has worked as a journalist for 10 years. 

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