15 Oct 2013

Man sentenced over Hubbard crash

3:45 pm on 15 October 2013

A man has been disqualified from driving for a year and fined almost $3000 over the crash that killed Canterbury financier Allan Hubbard in 2011.

Andy Earl speaks to reporters outside court on Tuesday.

Andy Earl speaks to reporters outside court on Tuesday. Photo: RNZ

Andy Earl, who said he fell asleep at the wheel, was found guilty of careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury in August.

He earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges, laid after the crash near Oamaru in September 2011. Mr Hubbard and his wife Jean were in the car.

Earl's lawyer John Westgate told the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday that he accepted the verdicts, but couldn't understand how he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Judge Garry MacAskill told Earl that tired drivers posed a significant risk to the community and it was a fundamental requirement of all drivers to stay alert at all times.

He said Earl was sympathetic after the crash and offered Mr and Mrs Hubbard help, but had not shown remorse in court.

Judge MacAskill said Mrs Hubbard was not seeking damages and, if they were imposed, would give the money to charity.

Earl was fined $1500 for careless driving causing death, $1000 for careless driving causing injury and$260 court costs. He was disqualified a year on each charge, to be served concurrently.

Outside court, Earl said he wasn't sure how he felt about the sentence, but said he always "had a lot of empathy towards the Hubbards".