Judge warns: you’re facing serious charges


A judge has kicked an alleged kidnapping case down the road - to Invercargill - for another three months.

And she’s fired a warning at supposed kingpins Pita Wilson and Joshua Veint over the fact they’re yet to hire lawyers.

Six people appeared before Judge Christina Cook at a case review hearing in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

Three women - Glenorchy’s Susanne Veint, 50, and Ashleigh McMillan, 23, and Amanda Nicolls, 44, of Frankton - are accused of sheltering either Wilson or Veint during a six-day manhunt late last year which gripped Queenstown and the nation.

The Crown’s made a “joinder” application - for the three women, who were bailed, to join Wilson, Joshua Veint and Mark Taylor, 17, in a jury trial. July 23’s pencilled in for a judge-alone hearing in Invercargill.

Wilson, 38, and Veint, 23, were remanded in custody to the same place and date.

But before they were taken to the cells, Cook was told the pair hadn’t hired lawyers. She warned them they faced serious charges and the matter would “not be on hold indefinitely”.

Taylor’s lawyer, David Slater, applied to have his client’s “punitive” 10pm to 6am curfew condition removed -because it prevents him taking night work.

Cook rejected the application, because of the seriousness of the charges and the fact Taylor’s curfew had already been changed.

Taylor was also remanded on bail to July 23.

Another man charged in relation to the alleged kidnapping incident has interim name suppression.

Wilson, a Glenorchy stonemason and well-known rugby player, Veint, a Glenorchy farmhand, and Taylor, of Bluff, are charged with allegedly kidnapping Joseph Armstrong, Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston on November 25 and 26 in the resort. They’re also charged with wounding Armstrong with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Wilson also denied a charge of supplying class A-controlled drug methamphetamine between November 22 and December 3 at Queenstown.

Veint has also denied a charge of possessing class A-controlled drug methamphetamine on December 3.

In January, all three elected trial by jury.