It looks like the sentence of hit and run driver Guy Hallwright is to be appealed by the Solicitor-General after silly comments by the Judge were widely reported. I wonder when Guy Hallwright will give up fighting the arse card from his employer, since his constant appearance in the media is demonstrably causing him to bring the firm into disrepute:
The cosy boys club atmosphere that appeared to exist in this case needs to be closely looked at.
In a rare legal move, the Solicitor-General is considering an appeal against the sentence imposed on investment banker Guy Hallwright who was found guilty of running down a man in a road rage incident.
A spokeswoman for the Solicitor-General said a “thorough review” of the case was being carried out to decide whether there were grounds for an appeal.
The appeal is backed by Auckland Council for Civil Liberties president Barry Wilson, who wrote a letter to Solicitor-General Michael Heron saying the court’s handling of the matter “reinforces the public perception of a two-tier justice system”.
In the Auckland District Court last month, Judge Raoul Neave sentenced Hallwright, a senior market analyst with Forsyth Barr, to 250 hours of community work, banned him from driving for 18 months and ordered him to pay $20,000 reparation to Sung Jin Kim.
Mr Kim suffered two broken legs when Hallwright hit him with his car after an argument on Mt Eden Rd in September 2010.
Hallwright drove off, but returned to the scene later.
While passing sentence, Judge Neave said Hallwright was a contributor to society with a “spotless reputation” and “impeccable character” and it was highly unlikely he would have driven at Mr Kim.
He said the reparation payment represented Hallwright’s remorse, and was not a legal system loophole that allowed rich people to buy their way out of more serious sentences.
Mr Wilson said the comments were bizarre, and the public clearly regarded the sentence as inadequate.
“A major flaw in the judge’s sentencing comments was that he appeared to deliver a glowing tribute to the defendant based on a limited knowledge of his background.
“To the extent that this contradicted the jury’s verdict, it contributed to the public perception of an inadequate sentence.”