Arrowtown identity in road rage’ assault


A former council election candidate and prominent Arrowtown sports coach has pleaded guilty to a daylight brawl on a residential street.

Simon Spark, 40, faced one charge of assaulting Wilson Contractors worker Christopher Seabrook after the pair got involved in a fight prompted by road rage in Arrowtown on August 31.

Queenstown District Court heard yesterday (Tuesday) that Spark was travelling along Manse Road at midday when he came across Seabrook attempting to control traffic near a building site.

Spark, a linesman and company director who is aware of correct procedures for traffic control, was unclear of what was going on when stopped by Seabrook. After telling Seabrook there were no road signs out, he slowly drove past the truck and trailer unit that was causing the hold-up. Seabrook then forcefully slammed his fists on the back window of Spark’s truck.

“The defendant got out of his vehicle, punched [Seabrook] several times to the head,” prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin says.

The pair continued their fight on the ground, Spark ripping off Seabrook’s sweatshirt during the struggle, before they eventually broke away.

As Spark walked towards the building site to talk to Seabrook’s employers, Seabrook “king-hit” Spark from behind, rendering him unconscious, Spark’s lawyer Nic Soper says.

Judge Dominic Flatley told Spark his case was “road rage of the most extreme kind” and there was no excuse.

“You did not need to get out of your vehicle and start hassling this individual, pushing this individual and hitting this individual. This is not normal behaviour.”

He was convicted and fined $2000 and ordered to pay court costs.

Spark, the Arrowtown premier team rugby coach, stood for Queenstown Lakes District Council in the 2010 local body elections.

Dixon chooses jury trial

The Queenstown bouncer who allegedly uploaded infamous CCTV footage of England rugby player Mike Tindall has elected a trial by jury.

Jonathan Dixon was meant to have a status hearing at Queenstown District Court yesterday but instead exercised his right to choose a jury trial to determine if he is guilty of unlawfully obtaining surveillance footage.

Tindall – who was last weekend dropped by England rugby management and fined $NZ50,000 for misbehaving in Queenstown during the Rugby World Cup – was captured on camera cavorting with an old university flame at Altitude Bar in September.

Dixon’s next appearance will be in February.

Local man almost four times over the limit

A Glenorchy man who crashed into cars parked outside Queenstown Primary while almost four times over the legal alcohol limit has been convicted.

Craig Andrew Dillon, 40, was caught drink driving with an excess breath alcohol level of 1540 micrograms on Robins Road at 11.20am last Thursday.

Judge Flatley told Dillon that his actions “defy belief” and that he thinks that breath alcohol reading is the highest he’s come across in court.

The court heard that Dillon – a recovering alcoholic – was spotted driving erratically after pausing at the pedestrian crossing outside Queenston Primary. He drove on, crashing into two parked cars.

Judge Flatley convicted and remanded Dillon for sentencing in January, in time for a sentencing report to be prepared.

Chinese man lashes out at Queenstown casino worker

A local Chinese restaurant owner who assaulted a casino worker after getting angry at a roulette table has been punished.

Matthew Ming Han, 48, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening manner likely to cause violence and to assaulting SkyCity table operator Sacha Smith after an incident on November 9.

The court heard yesterday that Han became verbally abusive toward Smith after she refused to let him play chips belonging to a friend of Han’s.

He shook his finger in Smith’s face and using his left elbow he pushed into her midriff.

Before he was forced to leave by security, Han swore at Smith and told her that he would “look for her outside of work”, making Smith feel threatened for her safety.

Duty solicitor Tony Oxnevad told Judge Flatley that the incident arose from a misunderstanding. Han, a regular at the casino, denies threatening Smith but regrets his behaviour.

Judge Dominic Flatley fined Han a total of $1000, ordered him to pay court costs of $132.89 and $300 in reparation for emotional harm to Smith.

Teen’s guilty plea

The Arrowtown teenager who broke into a house and indecently assaulted a woman has pleaded guilty.

Elijahwon Patelesio, 18, has been bailed to a Christchurch address before sentencing on January 16.