A judge has told offenders New Zealand’s tourism reputation is under threat from alcohol-related crime in Queenstown.
Respected Judge Dominic Flatley slammed two separate defendants in the resort’s district court on Monday morning.
They included Kelvin Heights carpenter Timothy Donald – who attacked an Australian tourist in a drunken rage outside Shotover Street restaurant Fergburger, punching him from behind.
“People have been killed here by doing what you did,” Flatley says.
“You could be standing here facing manslaughter charges and a period of imprisonment.
“There is too much of this type of behaviour in Queenstown in the early hours of the morning. I don’t know what the police have to do to stop it, or what the courts have to do.
“It does not give the tourism industry in New Zealand a very good name.”
Donald, 31, had been identified by the public from CCTV images after the assault at 4.20am on Sunday, August 19. He pleaded guilty to injuring with intent and was sentenced to 150 hours’ community work and ordered to pay his victim $1000 reparations.
His victim, who had argued with Donald in the queue for the burger restaurant, was knocked out cold and suffered a cut lip which needed nine stiches.
Flatly also verbally lashed a Frenchman who admitted receiving stolen goods after a friend stole a $300 camera from a woman’s handbag while on a drunken night out in Queenstown.
“It causes me real concern this is happening in Queenstown because yet again this gives Queenstown and New Zealand a bad name.”
Julien Romain Januad pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods, was convicted and fined $1000. The camera was recovered and returned to its owner after Janaud dropped it when he was arrested the same night outside another bar.
Former worker fined before deportation
An Argentinian man who stole from his former employer has been told he can’t take the law into his own hands.
Dante Oscar Burgos, 31, was fined $2000 plus court costs when he appeared for sentencing in Queenstown District Court today after earlier admitting four charges of theft from local restaurant Thai Siam.
Burgos worked as a kitchen-hand for the restaurant from March 2010 to September 2011 but never returned his key.
In July this year, he returned to Thai Siam on four separate occasions in the early hours of the morning, unlocking the premises, taking money from the till and locking the door behind him. He made no attempt to disguise himself from the restaurant’s CCTV cameras.
He stole $50 on the first three occasions and $60 on the final night. Burgos’ lawyer Sonia Vidal told the court that he was still waiting on outstanding holiday that had been promised to him.
As a result of his conviction, Burgos has been served a deportation notice and will leave New Zealand for Argentina next Saturday.
Judge Dominic Flatley told Burgos he should have taken his complaint to the Department of Labour.
“You do not take the law into your own hands, as you have done here.”
Chef admits punching woman
A Queenstown chef has been sentenced to community work and community detention after losing his temper at an ATM machine.
Adam Campbell Fleming, 26, today pleaded guilty to one charge of male assaults female after a woman attempted to stop him from kicking the money dispenser that had swallowed his card.
He’d earlier admitted intentionally damaging the Camp Street ATM but disputed police summary of facts over his assault. The facts initially said he head-butted the woman. Today he admitted punching her.
Fleming, a chef at Vudu Café, punched the victim after a “tussle” between the woman and Fleming’s girlfriend on August 5, his lawyer Mike Newell says. Fleming was moderately intoxicated at the time.
Judge Flatley sentenced Fleming to 150 hours’ community work and ordered him to pay $971.56 for the damage he caused to the machine.
Sparky not too bright
A South African electrician found in possession of ecstasy and cannabis after falling asleep on a Queenstown street has been sentenced to community work.
Jonathan Wright, who lives in Dunedin, was also convicted of common assault and disorderly behaviour when he appeared in Queenstown District Court on Monday. The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to all four charges.
Sergeant Glen McMurdo told the court drunken Wright had fallen asleep outside a Church Street restaurant at about 9pm on Friday, August 3. The restaurant’s manager woke him up.
“He jumped up and started yelling and swinging punches with both arms and closed fists, one of which hit the victim,” McMurdo says.
Police arrived and found 20 grams of cannabis and 11 capsules containing MDMA – or ecstasy – in a brown paper bag that had fallen out of Wright’s jumper.
Judge Flatley told Wright he obviously has a problem with drugs and alcohol from his previous convictions and would end up in jail if he continued along this path.
“Now is the time to sort yourself out,’ Flatley says.
Wright was convicted and sentenced to 180 hours’ community work and 12 months’ supervision.
Drink drivers in dock
A Queenstown DJ who was two-and-a-half times the drink drive limit when stopped at 10am has been convicted.
Ashley Godfrey, 30, was fined $1200 and disqualified for eight months after pleading guilty to drink driving at Queenstown District Court on Monday.
Solicitor Phena Byrne told the court Godfrey, of Hallenstein Street, had gone out on a heavy drinking session after splitting up with his girlfriend. But he had kept a promise to a friend to drive him to the airport the next morning.
He blew 1080 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when tested, The legal limit is 400.
Byrne says Godfrey was extremely remorseful and admitted it was the most stupid thing he had ever done.
Advertising sales consultant Karen Reeves, 44, also gave a high level when stopped by police at 11pm on Friday, August 17. The mum-of-two was three times the legal limit – with blood tests showing 248 millilitres of alcohol per litre of blood. The legal limit is 80.
Reeves was fined $1000 and disqualified from the roads for eight months. Byrne says the incident was “completely out of character” and Reeves was extremely remorseful.
Uruguayan Agustin Casaravilla was convicted of drink driving after being stopped just nine days before his 20th birthday.
The youngster blew 259 micrograms per litre of breath and was processed. There is no legal limit for the under 20s but the limit for adults is 400. Nine days later, he would not have faced charges. Casaravilla was fined $300 and disqualified for three months.
There are no comments on this article.
Have your say
You will need to register or login before you can post a comment.