A Frankton man who threatened to kill newspaper staff has been remanded on bail.
Jamie Sutherland, of Frankton Road, had taken offence at a Southland Times report about him appearing in court on firearms charges.
Unemployed Sutherland, 30, went to the Cow Lane offices on April 24 and demanded to see one of the journalists, before making a series of threats.
Appearing at Queenstown District Court on Monday, he pleaded guilty.
Counsel Mike Newell says: “I should say that he is extremely remorseful and apologetic.”
Newell says a reference to the Mental Impairment Act implied he suffered some mental deficiency, when he does not.
“He felt it was private and shouldn’t have been in the newspaper. It caused some hurt. He felt his privacy had been invaded.”
Sutherland had previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully carrying a firearm, an air pistol, in a public place.
Police had been called to Frankton in March after he accidentally shot himself in the leg while walking with the air pistol in the band of his trousers. He hid the gun and claimed to be the victim of a drive-by shooting.
Health reports conducted while he was in prison for six weeks on remand have diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome.
Today (Tuesday), Judge Michael Turner indicated he would be convicted when he returned to court in July but face no further penalty if he contacted autism charities for support, having already spent six weeks behind bars.
Judge Turner says: “Asperger’s syndrome is not an excuse but an explanation of why you acted like you did.
“I think you need some support in the community. That’s the therapeutic element of this.”
Sutherland has agreed to contact autism charities for support and adhere to various bail conditions.
Urinating Glenorchy teen ‘just had to go’
An 18-year-old Glenorchy man just released from prison has been sentenced to community work after a drunken and disorderly night in Queenstown.
Sean Graeme Duffy today pleaded guilty in Queenstown District Court to behaving in an offensive manner, behaving in a disorderly manner likely to cause violence and breaching bail.
The court heard that Duffy, recently released from prison, was “in an extreme state of intoxication” when he was out with mates on May 2. He was seen to be in a loud heated argument with an unknown party in Rees Street at about 1.15am.
A male member of the public intervened and told him to calm down. Duffy took exception and confronted the man in an aggressive and verbally abusive manner. They began pushing and shoving each other, until Duffy was pushed into a window of sports shop 45 South. The window was smashed and the men left the scene.
At 5am, police saw him urinating against shop door on Shotover St.
“When spoken to by a police officer the defendant told her to ‘go away’ as he ‘needed to finish pissing’,” prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin says.
“In explanation for urination in the doorway he told police that he ‘just had to go’.”
Judge Michael Turner convicted and fined Duffy $100 for urinating in public, plus ordered him to pay $25 to the shop owner for cleaning and $150 in emotional harm reparation. For the disorderly behaviour charge Duffy was sentenced to 60 hours’ community work and ordered to pay $1004 – half the cost – for the broken window. For the breach of bail charge, which occurred on May 21, he was given a concurrent sentence of 60 hours’ community work.
More disorderly behaviour
Queenstown man Jonathan Budd has been sentenced to community work and supervision after admitting a charge of disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.
Budd, 21, was out drinking with a friend at 10.45pm on March 21 in The Mall, the court heard. They got denied entry to Winnies bar and then headed to a nearby Turkish kebab shop, where they were also refused service.
Budd’s associate began swearing and knocked chairs and tables to the ground, at which point the owner of the eatery got involved and everyone began to push and shove each other.
Budd’s associate ended up on the ground by the owner, who held him down on the ground. Budd then punched the shop owner in the head.
Budd’s lawyer Phena Byrne says Budd reacted in the way he did to help his friend. He thought he pulled the owner off his mate and didn’t recall punching him. Nevertheless, Budd accepted responsibility for his behaviour, Byrne says.
Judge Turner told Budd: “Mr Budd, you are 21 years old and you have accumulated a number of convictions…you need to stop and look at yourself and your behaviour.”
He was sentenced to 60 hours’ community work and six months’ supervision, including drug and alcohol counselling.