A 17-year-old girl who lied to police by claiming she was at the wheel of a car which crashed was convicted of perverting the course of justice at Masterton District Court yesterday.
Ashleigh Keene of Masterton pleaded guilty to the charge, and was convicted despite pleas from her lawyer that it could prevent her from realising her ambition of becoming a nurse.
The actual driver, Stephen Gordon Thompson, also of Masterton, had already been convicted on charges related to the September 10, 2012, crash at West Bush, Masterton.
Thompson had asked Keene if she would tell police she was the driver in exchange for $1200 and a motor car.
Keene agreed. However, on September 27, 2012, she went into Masterton Police Station and told police the true version of events.
In Masterton District Court yesterday lawyer Louise Elder presented a letter from the nursing council to Judge Michael Behrens which stated that a dishonesty conviction might hamper her efforts to gain a place on a programme.
But Judge Michael Behrens deemed the offence too serious.
"What the court can take from this letter is that the door is not closed," he said.
"It's going to be harder but it's not closed."