Man hails bail conditions


A former resort bouncer who watched CCTV footage of himself in full-flight fight mode says it was an ‘‘eye-opener’’ for him, and he doesn’t want to ‘‘be like that ever again in my life’’.

In Queenstown’s court last Monday, Ryan James Fattorini, 30, was fined $1500 and sentenced to nine months’ supervision, with special conditions, by Judge Russell Walker after admitting assaulting Renae Hapeta using a bottle as a weapon, and disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence, on January 20 in Queenstown.

Walker said Fattorini was moderately intoxicated in a bar in Cow Lane at 1am when he spotted security staff there struggling trying to remove a group of people his lawyer Bryony Shackell described as a ‘‘drunken, violent mob’’.

Shackell, said Fattorini was in the ‘‘wrong place at the wrong time’’.

He stepped in to help in a misguided attempt to ‘‘protect colleagues who were outnumbered … in an unprovoked attack’’.

But Walker said CCTV footage from outside the bar, in Cow Lane, showed Fattorini to be the ‘‘predominant aggressor’’.

He stepped up to a male, ‘‘as if in a cage fight’’, threw multiple punches and tried to kick the other man.

That male walked back to the door of the bar, Fattorini followed, punched him from behind and then ‘‘took a swing’’ at another person trying to intervene.

At that point Fattorini appeared ‘‘totally out of control’’, Walker said.

Hapeta, the male’s girlfriend, was ejected from the bar.

She then picked up a rubbish bin full of glass bottles and threw it — she’s already been sentenced to 80 hours’ community work.

Fattorini then picked up two glass bottles and threw them at a wall.

Both smashed by her head, and shrapnel from the second caused lacerations to her face.

The fight continued until police arrived, at which point Fattorini began to walk, and then ran, away.

‘‘You had countless opportunities to do exactly that before police arrived, but you did not take them,’’ Walker told him.

‘‘In my view you were the predominant aggressor in what was a … disgraceful incident.

‘‘This type of offending … is far too prevalent where late at night people having too much to drink turn to violence, placing [themselves] and others at risk of serious injury, which can have devastating and unintended consequences.’’

Fattorini told Walker he didn’t want to be seen as someone like that ‘‘or be like that ever again in my life’’.

‘‘Seeing myself in that CCTV footage, it was something that was definitely an eye-opener for me.’’

He had been on strict bail for the past nine months, which had changed his life for the better, and hadn’t been on the booze since then as a result.

‘‘I feel healthier, fitter, I don’t crave alcohol — I don’t even feel like drinking alcohol any more.

‘‘It’s enabled me to start a business during the pandemic.

‘‘It’s turned my life around for the better.’’

It’s still illegal, sir

A Queenstowner who’s been adjudicated bankrupt, evicted from his home and had his van — containing all of his belongings — stolen now also has two convictions to his name.

Bryce William Whall, 45, last Monday admitted possession of class C-controlled cannabis
plant and a homemade bong in Queenstown on March 10.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said police were at Whall’s address on an unrelated matter, but spotted cannabis in his bedroom while they were there.

A subsequent search located 52g of cannabis, the bong, two sets of digital scales, ziplock
bags and a glass pipe.

Whall said the cannabis was his, but told the cops he didn’t know anything about the glass
pipe or scales.

Shackell said Whall began self-medicating with cannabis after sustaining an injury and
having surgery.

He was evicted after the police search, adjudicated bankrupt in August and recently had his van stolen.

She submitted the convictions themselves would be punitive enough and sought a deferred sentence.

Judge Walker said cannabis was still illegal and he had to enforce the law, but that ‘‘notwithstanding, I have some sympathy for your situation’’.

Taking a rehabilitative approach, for possession of a utensil he was sentenced to nine months’ supervision with a special condition.

For possession of cannabis he was convicted and discharged.