Raiders’ Corey Harawira-Naera says sorry for driving after up to 17 drinks

Albert McKnight 25 March 2021
Corey Harawira-Naera

Corey Harawira-Naera fronts the media outside the ACT Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to a drink driving charge. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A Canberra Raider has admitted he exercised “poor judgement” when he got behind the wheel while drunk after a Christmas Eve celebration.

Court documents show Corey Harawira-Naera had about 10 beers and seven shots over a night out in Braddon and Civic on the evening of 24 December 2020 before attempting to drive to Belconnen in the early hours of Christmas Day.

He was pulled over by police about 4:30 am and a later breath test showed a reading of 0.12 – over twice the legal limit.

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As a result, the NRL issued the Raiders’ second rower with a $10,000 fine and a two-match suspension.

On Thursday (25 March), the 25-year-old appeared in the ACT Magistrate Court and pleaded guilty to a charge of driving a motor vehicle with alcohol in his blood.

Canberra Raider Corey Harawira-Naera

Canberra Raider Corey Harawira-Naera (left) leaves the court on Thursday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

Harawira-Naera’s lawyer, Paul Edmonds from Canberra Criminal Lawyers, said his client understood he had let down younger players as well as the people who looked up to him as a role model.

Mr Edmonds said Harawira-Naera’s original plan was to leave his car in the city and catch an Uber home, but he had three friends with him and the four could not fit into a single Uber.

He said in a state of intoxication his client made the “very poor decision” to drive and he had already “paid a very significant penalty”.

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Magistrate James Lawton remarked that the price of two Ubers would have been $30 to $50, but because of Harawira-Naera’s actions he had already received a $10,000 fine.

Taking into account the penalties Harawira-Naera had already received, Magistrate Lawton fined him $250 and disqualified him from driving for three months, which has already been served.

Speaking outside the court after the sentence Harawira-Naera said he had made a “poor judgement” to drink drive and he apologised to his club and family for his actions.

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