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Monday 2 November 2015

This drink driver killed his friend in a crash then hid for 14 YEARS

This drink driver killed his friend in a crash then hid for 14 YEARS

Fake ID: Bradley Hazelton was in hiding for 14 years
A man who killed his pal in a drink-drive crash then went into hiding for 14 years has been jailed.

Bradley Hazelton faces a nine month prison term for his part in the smash which killed 20-year-old Dwayne Nicholson in 2000.

Following the crash Hazelton thought "That was it, my life was over, there was no way out," Sydney District Court heard.

He changed his name, got married and lived a new life until he was busted thanks to an anonymous tip off.

As his sentence was read out Nicholson’s sister Tara Hodge yelled out: “Don’t ever forget what you did, you a******e”.

This drink driver killed his friend in a crash then hid for 14 YEARS

Victim: Dwayne Nicholson died in the crash
Hazelton had been drinking when his car veered onto the wrong side of road and ploughed into a van and then a tree in New South Wales.

Mr Nicholson was thrown from the rear passenger seat and killed, reports ABC .

The court heard Nicholson died at the scene of the crash, while another of Hazelton’s passengers suffered a ruptured bladder and fractures to her pelvis.

Hazelton was breathalysed and taken to Wollongong police station.

He was released without charge but told to come back the following week,

Instead, he went on the run, without telling family or friends where he was going.

For a while he worked as a farm hand in northern NSW.

AAP Image/David M

Tara Hodge (centre), the sister of Dwayne Nicholson, speaks to the media outside the Downing Centre Court in Sydney, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015

Grieving: Tara Hodge spoke outside the court
"I thought I was punishing myself, I was already hating myself, I felt there was no way I could fix this," he later told a psychiatrist.

Hazelton then settled in the small community of Russell Island under a false name.

He met his wife, who he told about the crash, but was eventually arrested on July 31 last year.

Of his time since the crash, Hazelton said: “I had freedom, I never had liberty. I have lived my life as a prisoner.”

Hazelton, now 39, pleaded guilty earlier this year to dangerous driving occasioning death.

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He did not react as he was taken away from the courtroom.

Outside court, Ms Hodge said: "We have waited over 14 years for justice for the death of my brother, Dwayne Nicholson.

Downing Centre Court in Sydney

Jailed: Hazelton was sentenced in Sydney
"Of course no sentence would be sufficient to equate to the life of Dwayne or the serious injuries caused to three other passengers."

She questioned the judge's comment that Hazelton was remorseful and said Hazelton only ended up in court due to an "anonymous tip-off"

"After 14 years we can safely assume he would never have been a person of good character and surrendered himself," she added.

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