A man who attempted to evade police by crashing a car through a paddock has been sent to prison.
Jade Robert Bulmer was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on Thursday to seven months and two weeks in prison for willful damage, dangerous driving, driving without a licence and punching a man in the head.
The charges stemmed from two events across Taranaki and Tararua in December 2020 and May this year.
On May 13, the 31-year-old pulled into a breath-testing checkpoint on State Highway 2 in Eketāhuna.
A repeat offender, Bulmer was already prohibited from driving after he was pulled over in Wellington in 2016.
The summary of facts states Bulmer gave police false details to avoid further charges, but after officers saw through the ruse he attempted his escape.
Officers tried to grab the wheel of the car, but were forced to let go as Bulmer raced off. He turned off the state highway, smashing through a mailbox as he took to the back roads of the rural township.
Bulmer tried to cut through a paddock but a farmer on his tractor cut him off, forcing him to crash through a fence and into a river. He ran from the scene but was found some hours later at a nearby home
Bulmer was also facing a charge related to punching a man on his bicycle on New Plymouth's Coastal Walkway in December 2020.
As the pair were drinking alcohol at Kawaroa Park, he thought the man had inappropriately touched his sister.
He lashed out when he later saw the victim down the street, the summary read.
Bulmer punched the man in the head, splitting his forehead and leaving him disorientated.
Defence lawyer Mike Andrews said Bulmer had shown remorse for trying to evade police and hitting the man.
He said Bulmer struck out for his sister in a moment of fury.
"The person was inappropriate to his sister," Andrews said. "He just reacted."
Bulmer had thought about what one punch could do and how others had died in similar cases, and that running from police was an instinctive response, Andrews said.
“It was an impulse decision. Later he realised fleeing from police was a fight or flight response."
Judge Bruce Northwood acknowledged Bulmer had a difficult upbringing and pleaded guilty early, but urged him to take control of his life.
"You’re a man now in your early 30s, and you need to work hard to better yourself."
Northwood ordered him to pay $100 reparation for the fence. He was barred from obtaining a driver's licence for eight months.
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