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Sentenced: Tully Robinson leaves Queenstown's court following an earlier appearance this year. PICTURE: NZ HERALD

By GUY WILLIAMS

A judge has urged the woman responsible for the death of Arrowtown teen Allanah Walker in a head-on crash last year to ‘‘make the best of your life’’.

Sentencing Tully Robinson in Queenstown’s court on Tuesday, Judge John Brandts-Giesen told her he believed she’d eventually overcome the ‘‘burden of the death and injury she caused’’.

Allanah was killed instantly in the collision near Arrowtown on August 22 last year, and her boyfriend, Astin Caldwell, was seriously injured.

Robinson, 22, the elder sister of alpine ski racer and Queenstown Olympian Alice Robinson, was convicted in June after admitting charges of aggravated careless driving causing Allanah’s death and aggravated careless driving causing injury to Caldwell.

She was found to be speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road and texting while
driving.

Crash site: A memorial to Allanah Walker at the site where she died on Malaghans Rd, near Arrowtown

A blood-alcohol test showed she was slightly above the legal limit of 50mg.

Reading her victim impact statement at the hearing, Allanah’s mother, Sarah Walker, described how the death of her ‘‘beautiful and precious’’ daughter had devastated her family.

She told Robinson the crash was not caused by a momentary lapse of attention, but was
the result of ‘‘three conscious decisions’’ she’d made.

‘‘Every day for the rest of your life, when you look in the mirror, you’ll see someone who made a series of bad decisions that resulted in the taking of a life.’’

“Beautiful and precious”: Allanah Walker, 17, of Arrowtown, who died in a car crash near Millbrook Resort last August

Brandts-Giesen turned down Robinson’s application for her convictions to be vacated and given a discharge, but also rejected Crown prosecutor Mike Brownlie’s argument she should be jailed for 18 months.

Giving Robinson discounts for her early guilty plea, previous good character, relative youth, remorse, and her willingness to engage in restorative justice and pay reparation, he came to a final sentence of four-and-a-half months’ home detention.

He also banned her from driving for 18 months.

She must pay $20,000 to Caldwell and $15,000 to Sarah Walker as reparation for emotional harm.

Earlier, Robinson’s lawyer, Kerry Cook, argued the convictions would impact on her hoped-for corporate career and ‘‘bright prospects’’, her ability to travel, and her mental health.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz