Drink driver had two kids in car

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A CLEANER caught drink driving around Queenstown with two children in his car has been sentenced to community work.
 
Daniel Allen Baxter, 26, was reported to police by a member of the public who believed he was drinking alcohol behind the wheel, shortly before 6pm on Thursday, December 29.
 
Appearing at Queenstown District Court this morning (Monday), Baxter denied this claiming instead to have been drinking the soft drink “V”.
 
He did however plead guilty to the drink drive charge, admitting he had consumed beers after work before driving into town for supper with his family.
 
When stopped by police on Beach Street in the CBD he blew 586 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mg.
 
Judge Kevin Phillips says: “The level of 586 indicates quite a high level of drinking.
 
“There is the matter of children in your vehicle and you were a danger to other road users and the public.
 
“Your history since 2002 in relation to driving offences is quite poor.”
 
Baxter, of Mackinnon Terrace, Sunshine Bay, who has $5000 in unpaid fines, was sentenced to 50 hours’ community work.
 
He was also disqualified from driving for six months.

Keep on trucking

A truck driver convicted of drink driving for the fourth time is allowed to continue driving for work on Queenstown roads for the next month.
 
Cyril John Cracknell, 46, pleaded guilty to one charge of drink driving when he appeared at Queenstown District Court this morning.
 
The Meadow Fresh delivery driver blew a reading of 571 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when stopped on Gorge Road in early December in his private car. The legal limit is 400.
 
Cracknell’s solicitor Phena Byrne successfully argued he should be allowed to continue driving for work despite facing possible jail time.
 
Byrne says: “The last of these matters was back in 1991.
 
“A prison sentence is not inevitable and there are other sentencing options available to the court.
 
“Perhaps a condition [of his bail] would be to allow him to drive solely for the purpose of working.”
 
Byrne says the condition could allow the defendant to keep his job.
 
Judge Kevin Phillips told Cracknell: “Your record both in relation to driving and honesty is an alarm.
 
“You appear to be a man who has problems with alcohol and drugs but I accept what Mrs Byrne tells me in relation to driving for work.”
 
Cracknell, of Centennial Avenue, Arrowtown, was remanded on bail for sentencing on February 27, while reports are complied.

Work thief does time in Queenstown

A woman convicted of stealing more than $130,000 from her helicopter firm employers will serve her 10-month home detention sentence in Queenstown.
 
Amanda Margaret Knight, 44, previously admitted taking the money over a seven-year period while managing the books for Makarora firm Back Country Helicopters Ltd.
 
Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced her to home detention at her mother’s address in Douglas Street, Frankton, when she appeared at Queenstown District Court this afternoon.
 
“Your motivation for offending was one of greed”, Judge Phillips says.
 
The Lake Hawea mother was also sentenced to 200 hours’ community work.
 
Knight, who has no previous convictions, had stolen the money by accessing the computer system, writing cheques and taking cash while employed part-time between 2004 and 2011 as a bookkeeper for the firm.
 
In total, she stole $131,627.87, which included writing 57 cheques to either herself or cash totalling $52,057.
 
Phena Byrne, in mitigation, says the defendant had paid the money back in full after being discovered and had co-operated with police.
 
She said the defendant was “thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed by her actions”.