Korean tourist let off for slapping her alleged fraudster

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A Korean woman who flew into a violent rage after allegedly being defrauded $100,000 in Queenstown has been discharged without conviction.

Yujin Jeong, 29, today admitted in Queenstown District Court to slapping Hyun Kyung Kim several times at a local youth hostel on February 2.

The court heard that Jeong and Kim arrived in New Zealand for a holiday on January 11 and arrived in Queenstown on January 23. On February 2, after several days of arguing about money, Jeong lashed out at Kim in the foyer of the hostel.

She slapped him in the face several times, lashed out at his face and kicked him in the leg.

Duty solicitor Mike Newell says Jeong accepts and regrets what she did but acted in that way because her male friend had taken $NZ100,000 of her money to invest on her behalf. She had discovered that he failed to invest the money and repeatedly asked for it back, but she has not received it yet.

Jeong, who delayed her return to Korea because of her court appearance, plans to return home immediately and complain to authorities about the alleged fraud, Newell says.

Kim is understood to be living in Queenstown at present but local police can’t contact him.

Judge Kevin Phillips says Jeong’s appearance in court and delayed return home was sufficient penalty and a conviction would severely impact her ability to travel in and out of Korea. He added her offending was at the “lower end” of an assault charge.

Reckless driver pleads guilty

A Queenstown man who smashed into five cars while driving after boozing up in town will be sentenced next month.

Anthony Peter Hughes, 23, today pleaded guilty to reckless driving on November 18 last year.

Hughes had been drinking at home and in town before he and an associate decided to visit a friend on Hallenstein Street at 5.30am, prosecuting sergeant Rob Mills told the court.

The friend wasn’t at home so Hughes continued driving towards Gorge Road and collided with two cars parked on opposite sides of the road, causing panel damage to both vehicles.

Hughes then drove further along Hallenstein St and collided with another parked car, causing damage to the left rear door, before driving on to Gorge Road.

He drove across Gorge Road, over the footpath and into a car sales yard where he collided with a 4WD vehicle parks in the yard. He reversed away and hit another of the yard’s cars.

“He drove forward and back three more times into the vehicle, causing it to be pushed sideways by one metre. This caused significant damage to the left-hand wheel and door, caused by the defendant’s towbar,” Mills says.

Reparation is sought for all five vehicles.

Judge Phillips convicted Hughes and remanded him on bail for sentencing on March 25.

Drink-driving

Queenstown ice hockey player Quinn Ryan Drake, 18, is applying for a discharge without conviction after admitting drink-driving on December 8 last year.

Drake, who was in the Southern Stampede squad last year, was found to have 209 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when he was stopped by police. The legal limit for under-20-year-olds is zero.

A conviction would affect his chances of travelling to Canada and Finland for ice hockey in the future, the court heard. He is to reappear on March 25.

Frankton security guard Julian Denny Joel, 35, was disqualified from driving for six months after getting stopped for drink-driving on Frankton Road on December 24. He produced a blood-alcohol reading of 104 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg. Joel was fined $500 plus $132 in court costs and $200 in medical and analysts’ fees.

Firearms offending

Jesse Lyall Job has been convicted and discharged for unlawfully possessing a Browning .308 calibre rifle. The court heard that Job’s firearm was discovered during a search warrant at his flat on January 1. The search warrant was related to another person living at Job’s house. Job admitted not having a firearms licence. The gun was ordered to be destroyed.