Emotions run high after sentencing of Hastings council mower driver

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

The 73 year-old Hastings District Council worker has skipped prison today for causing the death of four-year-old Uetaha Ransfield-Wanoa in a lawn mowing accident at Kirkpatrick Park in Camberly. The judge has sentenced the worker to six months home detention.

Tensions were high outside the Napier District Court today as the family of Uetaha lashed out at media, upset at the sentence handed down.

In October last year, Uetaha was playing at Kirkpatrick Park in Camberly with some of his older cousins. They had been warned by the driver not to play near the mower, but a short time later, Uetaha was swept under the lawn mower and subsequently died from his injuries.

While the children were not supervised by an adult at the park, the fact was outlined that the driver should have stopped operating the tractor after sighting Uetaha running towards the tractor, but instead the worker continued to mow.

Cries from the family were heard when the sentence was handed out. The driver will serve six months home detention, 100 hours community service and pay $5000 reparation to the family , something the family did not want in the first place. 

Te Kāea reporter, Aroha Treacher was at the Court today and will have all the details tonight at 5:30 and 7:00 pm with subtitles.