13 Aug 2011

Officer fined $250 over motorcyclist's death

9:35 am on 13 August 2011

A Waikato highway patrol officer accused of dangerous driving causing death has been convicted on a lesser charge of careless driving and fined $250.

Paul Brown, 37, was killed when his motorbike came over the brow of a hill on a rural road near Te Kauwhata and hit the patrol car in April last year.

Constable Michael Lenihan was making a three-point turn preparing to chase a vehicle clocked at 153km/h when the crash occurred.

On Friday, the 60-year-old officer was convicted in the Hamilton District Court following a two-day defended hearing.

Lenihan opted to be sentenced straight away.

Judge Lance Moore dismissed a second charge of dangerous driving causing injury relating to a passenger in the police car.

A friend of the motorcyclist is unhappy with the conviction and sentence handed down.

Speaking outside the court on Friday, Joe Macfarlane said he still believed it was dangerous driving and "no one in their right mind" would have turned around on that section of road.

"The sentence is nothing to us; but be accountable for what you did and that was just dangerous driving - end of story."

Mr Macfarlane says he has lost confidence in the justice system.