A dairy farmer who told police he went 199kmh because he was late for work now says he was going so fast because he needed to dump milk he accidentally spoiled before it was picked up.
Christopher John Clarke-Allen, 29, pleaded guilty in the Palmerston North District Court on Tuesday to dangerous driving.
Clarke-Allen was pulled over in Manawatū in November after police spotted him speeding.
Clarke-Allen, who was clocked doing 199kmh at one point, told police he was late for work.
Clarke-Allen initially wanted to represent himself, telling Judge Stephanie Edwards he was keen to “plead guilty and get it sorted”.
Later, duty lawyer Mark Alderdice said Clarke-Allen knew the speed was excessive.
He had already left work before realising he used an acid wash on the milk tanks before milk was put in them.
He was unable to contact anyone on the farm – he said in court his boss was on holiday – so he tried to get back to the farm before the tanker arrived to collect the milk.
“The dangers that would have eventuated if the milk left the property was a consideration with the risk he took.”
The judge wondered why Clarke-Allen could not have used his cellphone to contact someone.
She described the situation as “frightening”.
“It creates a significant public safety risk, as well as risking your own life.
“If you had been going off the road at that speed, you probably wouldn’t be standing here today.”
The offending was more serious because Clarke-Allen was on his learner licence, the judge said.
Clarke-Allen was fined $800 and disqualified from driving for six months.