Qiuyi Tan, Open Justice Reporter
A young former police officer has been sentenced to home detention on DUI charges in an accident that killed a cyclist in 2021.
Jada Manase, then 21 and fresh out of police academy, crashed into 69-year-old David Lane’s bicycle after falling asleep while driving after a night of drinking.
Lane’s grieving sister spoke to the court about the shock of her brother’s death as Manasseh was sentenced Friday afternoon.
In a letter read at Manukau District Court by a victim adviser, Jennifer Keane said, “He was a speeding, drunk off-duty man who had been drinking all night and thought she was over the law.” was mowed down by a female police officer.
“It’s heartbreaking that Dave had just retired that week and had so many plans for the future,” she wrote, “traveling, moving, new car, biking.”
In the wake of his death, Keen and her son had to fly from Wales, where they lived, to New Zealand to arrange his funeral and sort out his affairs.
“It was stressful sorting out his personal affairs,” she wrote, adding that many of his friends around the world were also coming to his funeral due to his sudden death. I couldn’t even say goodbye.
The incident occurred shortly after 8:00 am on September 17, 2021 on Stancombe Road in Flatbush, outside Auckland.
The court heard that Manase was driving a Nissan pickup truck and was driving between 68 and 72 km/h, exceeding the 60 km/h speed limit.
Her car swerved into a bike lane and collided with the lane she was riding her bike on Saturday morning.
The Nissan continued to hit four parked vehicles, two of which caused serious damage that had to be reversed.
Lane, a triathlete and former Ironman competitor, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Manase was taken to the police station and recorded 600 micrograms of alcohol per liter of breath. This is 1.5 times the legal limit.
The court heard that she had been drinking on the street with friends until about 2 a.m. the night before when she went to her friend’s house and had breakfast.
She thought she was okay to drive because she was sober, but fell asleep not far from home.
She later said it was a “silly decision”.
Judge McNaughton sentenced her to nine months of home detention after giving her an early guilty plea, remorse, and a significant discount due to her relative youth at the time.
Crown had sought an increase in her sentence, arguing that her work as a police officer had made her drunk driving charges more serious.
The judge dismissed it, saying Manase wasn’t persuaded to know better as a police officer because the public was equally aware of the dangers of drunk driving.
“It’s common sense,” he said.
Despite coming from a broken family and moving from place to place as a child, Manase was described as a role model and leader at school and described as kind, caring and compassionate, the court heard. .
She resigned from the police force earlier this month, and a judge said she paid a high price for losing her career.
“I definitely carry the burden of my sins. Maybe one day I will be able to forgive myself and move on,” he said.
Manase’s friends and family, who filled public galleries, gathered to sing Waiata outside the courtroom after the hearing.
*This story was originally NZ Herald website.