Dairy brawl defendants in court

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One of the men involved in drunken brawl in Queenstown has admitted his involvement while the other is denying his connection.

Fernhill man Simon Paul Islip, 29, pleaded guilty to assaulting Ryan Daniel Harvey with intent to injure in the Night n’ Day store on Shotover Street on October 13.

Harvey, who appeared separately to Islip in Queenstown District Court today, has entered a not guilty plea.

The court heard that Islip approached a group of three men who were throwing bags of chips around because he thought they were stealing.

After a verbal altercation lasting about five minutes, Islip eventually took off his jacket and pushed Harvey two times to the chest before head-butting him.

Islip was pushed away by the group and then allegedly punched in the head by Harvey.

As he fell to the ground he hit his head on the shop counter and was knocked unconscious. Harvey is alleged to have then kicked Islip in the head while on the ground.

In explanation to the head-butt, Islip told police that he felt threatened by the group which is why he lashed out.

Islip has an “atrocious history of alcohol abuse”, Judge Phillips says. He convicted Islip and remanded on bail till November 19. He called for reports into community detention as a possible sentence.

Harvey is a 28-year-old Wellington film production worker currently living in Arrowtown. He has been granted a variation to his bail so he can fly to Australia to work on a film production till December 5. He will reappear in court on January 15.

Sexual violation charge

A Whataroa man has appeared in court on a charge of sexually violating a woman in Queenstown on September 28. 

The man, 23, did not enter a plea. 

Defence lawyer Phena Byrne asked for the man to be granted interim name suppression on the grounds that publication of his name could lead to extreme hardship, given that he lives in a small community. 

Judge Phillips denied the application but allowed for name suppression to continue till Wednesday, giving Byrne time to make further submissions. 

The man has been remanded on bail and will reappear in court for a post committal conference on December 19.