© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Grieving family in court for plea

Georgie Hanafin
Summit Road
The crash occurred on Summit Rd on the Port Hills, near the intersection of Victoria Park car park and the Dyers Pass Rd.  Google Maps

Judge warns grieving family of two girls, who were killed in a car crash on the Port Hills, to behave in court.

Family members and friends of Tayla Alexander, 17, and her sister Sunmara, 16, filled the public gallery in the Christchurch District Court wearing t-shirts and hoodies with pictures of the girls, their dates of birth and death.

They were told prior to the accused appearing that any outbursts would result in them being removed from the courtroom by court security and being barred from attending any future appearances. 

The alleged driver of the vehicle pleaded not guilty to two charges of dangerous driving causing death, a charge of dangerous driving causing injury, and one of driving without the appropriate licence.

The case will now go to a jury trial. The defendant will appear on September 22 at 11.45am.

Until then he has been remanded at large - no bail was required. 

The accused's identity is suppressed.

The family was upset with the plea and left the courtroom holding hands and comforting each other.