Dunedin court gives repeat drink-driver home detention for latest offence

A recidivist drink-driver who caused a fatal crash has been caught driving while disqualified for the 12th time.

Dean Anthony Martin, who turned 62 yesterday, brought a bag to the Dunedin District Court yesterday in preparation for incarceration but got a birthday reprieve when Judge David Robinson opted not to send him to prison.

The defendant, who has 32 driving convictions, was sentenced to six months’ home detention and will be banned from driving until August next year.

Martin was jailed for three and a half years after a drunken crash near Waikouaiti in 2006 that claimed the life of 33-year-old Kellie-Rachel Smillie.

It was not the catalyst for the defendant to clean up his act.

He drove while disqualified in 2011 and was so drunk when he crashed in 2016 that when police asked him to nominate a lawyer he requested “Donald Trump”.

Martin was similarly intoxicated in 2019 when he crashed into a Dunedin liquor store.

His most recent crime, the court heard, came on March 31.

The Palmerston resident was stopped by police in Waikouaiti on his way to Dunedin and told them he thought his disqualification had ended.

Martin’s story, though, changed when it came to yesterday’s sentencing.

He said he had missed the bus and decided to drive to a Ministry of Social Development appointment through which he was trying to access additional funding.

Counsel Liam Collins said his client, who had collapsed at a previous hearing, was struggling with his recently diagnosed diabetes.

He stressed there had been no driving fault or alcohol involved in the incident.

Collins urged the judge to impose community detention, arguing home detention would be a severe imposition on Martin since his family all lived overseas and he lived alone.

However, Judge Robinson was unswayed.

Probation was sceptical of Martin’s remorse and assessed him as a medium risk of reoffending.

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