A young Arrowtown drink-driver who crashed her car, seriously injuring two passengers, has been sentenced to three months’ home detention.
Amanda Marie Newman, 21, avoided going to prison for the May 20 incident when she appeared for sentencing in Queenstown District Court yesterday.
Newman was more than twice the legal limit when she drove a vehicle from Queenstown to Alexandra and crashed on the Gibbston Highway at 6.35am, causing suspected spinal injuries to one male passenger and a broken foot to a female passenger.
The court heard that Newman, who was 20 at the time of offending, had been at a friend’s 21st birthday party in Alexandra where she drank alcohol before moving on to a local bar.
One of her friends had been removed from the bar due to intoxication so Newman drove her friend, the female passenger, back to Queenstown and bought some takeaways.
The pair picked up two male friends while in town – more alcohol was bought and the foursome went to a local graveyard to drink the booze.
At 6.35am the group got in Newman’s car and headed in the direction of Alexandra.
Near Gibbston, Newman failed to take a sweeping left hand turn, crossed the centre line and hit a grass verge.
The car swerved on to the left hand side of the road and slid seven metres down a steep bank, resting on its roof.
One male passenger was flown to Dunedin hospital and later Invercargill with spinal injuries and the female passenger was treated for a broken ankle.
The woman, who had just been accepted into the New Zealand Army, has since been told she will no longer be able to join the army as a result of her injury.
A blood sample was taken from Newman which revealed she had 179 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in her system. The legal limit is 80mg.
Newman, who admitted the two charges of drink-driving causing injury on August 13, has had ongoing, serious issues with alcohol abuse and other mental health problems, her lawyer Phena Byrne told the court.
She has completed an alcohol counselling programme and is extremely remorseful, Byrne says.
Judge Michael Turner says Newman could have gone to prison for nine months but decided on a sentence of home detention when considering her personal and family circumstances.
Newman has also been sentenced to 75 hours’ community work, disqualified from driving for 13 months and ordered to pay $400 in emotional harm plus $164 to the police.
Jandal thief fined
The Frenchman who stole a pair of $15 jandals from The Warehouse has copped a $650 fine for his offending.
Malween Gael Triquet, 27, left his old shoes on the shelf in the men’s shoes isle after trying on the pair of size 9 jandals on October 30, the court heard.
He then left the shop wearing the jandals, making no attempt to pay for them.
Duty solicitor Rhona Daysh told the court Triquet’s offending was “rather bizarre” considering he has $2000 in the bank and was able to pay for the jandals, but he is remorseful and entered an early guilty plea.
Triquet, in New Zealand on a working holiday visa, appeared before the court in August after stealing a digital camera, an iPod Touch and $50 cash from a woman’s handbag in Harry’s Pool Bar on August 26.
He was convicted and fined $400.He leaves Queenstown this week to take up a job as a chef in Nelson.
Convicting Triquet, Judge Turner says he can’t understand why he has been before the courts twice recently despite being trouble-free in the country for seven months.
“If you commit this offence or similar offences again while you are in NZ you can expect to be dealt with more harshly. Keep out of trouble.”
Director denies charges of threatening violence
Dalefield man and company director Kevin John McLachlan, 49, has pleaded not guilty to threatening to injure and possessing a wheel brace and showing it with the intention to threaten violence on September 28.
He has been remanded on bail to reappear on November 19 for a status hearing.
Hungry security guard fined
Queenstown security guard Dallas Kane has been convicted and fined $100 for flouting a trespass notice at Night n Day.
Kane, 25, from the United States, entered the Camp Street store at 2am on October 28 after finishing a shift because he was “extremely hungry” and wanted to buy some wedges, the court heard.
He admitted the offending but told police he thought he would be able to enter.
In May this year, he received a trespass notice from the store that remains in place for two years.
Queenstown landscaper Regan Jeffrey Marfell, 34, admitted drink-driving after crashing his car near Kingston.
Marfell was driving south on State Highway 6 on August 25 at 10.20am when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a bank on the other side of the road.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
When he was taken to hospital a blood sample was taken which showed Marfell had 124 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
Marfell had been drinking the night before and thought he would be ok to drive. He was extremely remorseful, the court heard.
Judge Turner convicted and fined Marfell $750, plus court costs of $132 and ordered him to pay medical and analyst fees of $206.
He also disqualified him from driving for seven months.
Queenstown mechanic Malcolm King admitted one charge of dangerous driving after performing two illegal overtaking manoeuvres on State Highway 6 near Ladies Mile on September 22.
The driver of the first car he overtook complained to police.
He was fined $400 plus court costs and disqualified for eight months.