A police officer has escaped a conviction after hitting a woman crossing the street with his police car, while on duty in Wellington.
Name suppression was lifted for Constable Daniel Farrell on Wednesday, as he was discharged without conviction in the Wellington District Court over the incident that happened in the suburb of Newtown in February 2016.
He had pleaded guilty to careless driving causing injury.
In discharging him, Judge Peter Hobbs said a conviction would be out of proportion with the seriousness of Farrell’s offending, and might hinder his prospects in the police force.
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A conviction and the disqualification of his licence would also make it impossible for Farrell to carry out his job on the frontline.
Farrell had been to a restorative justice conference with the victim who had largely recovered from her injuries and held no bitterness towards Farrell for what had happened.
He had apologised and she had accepted it wholeheartedly. The pair had reached an arrangement where the police officer would visit a community organisation she worked for.
Farrell was on duty with a partner when they were asked to pick up a drug overdose patient who had left Wellington Hospital.
They found her and she was in the back of the car when they stopped for a red light at the intersection of Emmett St and Riddiford St in Newtown.
She was passing in and out of consciousness and both officers were gravely concerned for her wellbeing.
The lights went green, and Farrell drove through the intersection not seeing the woman who was crossing on a green pedestrian light, and hitting her. The woman was injured and taken to hospital that day.
The Crown agreed the offending was at the lower end of the scale, Hobbs said. Several factors had been at play in Farrell not seeing the woman in time to avoid hitting her.
Farrell had sought permanent name suppression, but that was declined by Judge Hobbs.