4 Jun 2013

Killer driver now a free man again

9:10 am on 4 June 2013

One of New Zealand's most dangerous drivers is to walk out of prison a free man on Tuesday after serving 10 years for manslaughter.

The Parole Board says Gavin Hawthorn, 50, who is responsible for the deaths of four people, has a chilling disregard for the law. He is free because he has completed his sentence.

Hawthorn, 50, killed three people when his vehicle crossed the centre line in 1989. He has been in prison several times for other offending dating back to 1979.

He is being released on condition he does not drive, drink, take drugs, contact victims or visit Wairarapa without approval for up to six months.

But Ricky Walls, a former Greytown constable, said that won't stop Hawthorn and he will probably sneak back into Wairarapa.

Gary Fryer, the father of one of those killed by Hawthorn, believes he is likely to drink-drive again.

The AA says New Zealand clearly has a problem with repeat drink-drivers and the current system is not working.