By GUY WILLIAMS, PIJF COURT REPORTER
A Queenstown man who threatened to kill his neighbour has been sentenced to community work and urged to address his alcohol and anger issues.
On February 4, Junior Atoni, 32, a hospital orderly, was having an argument with his sister on the driveway of his Goldfield Heights flat when the victim walked out onto the deck of her home.
Atoni, who police say was drunk on whisky, called out ‘‘you what?’’
The victim replied: ‘‘I didn’t say anything, I’m just getting the dog in.’’
The defendant then shouted obscene comments about the victim and her parents before walking up the steps of the victim’s house and telling her ‘‘I’m going to f***ing kill you’’.
The victim shut the door in the defendant’s face.
Atoni’s sister then drove him to central Queenstown, where he used the whisky bottle to smash the rear passenger windows of his rental vehicle.
He later told police he had bent down to pick something up and ‘‘tripped’’ into the car,
breaking the windows.
He appeared for sentencing in Queenstown’s court last Monday on charges of threatening to kill and intentional damage of the rental vehicle.
Counsel Alice Milne said the defendant was shocked and ‘‘deeply ashamed’’ by his behaviour, having only recently moved to the resort from Wellington for a fresh start.
He was no longer living next to the victim.
Judge John Brandts-Giesen told Atoni his behaviour was ‘‘disgraceful’’, and he suspected he had a drinking problem.
‘‘The abuse of alcohol is the root cause of most crime.’’
Atoni was convicted and sentenced to 50 hours’ community work and nine months’ supervision to enable intervention for alcohol and anger management issues.
He must pay the victim $300 for emotional harm, and pay the rental car company $300 reparation for the broken windows.
Assault after being caught short
An Auckland man punched a security guard after he was caught relieving himself off the
side of a vessel in Queenstown Bay.
Felix Matthew Fisher, 30, receptionist, was at a DJ party onboard the Southern Discoveries boat on December 19 when, about 9.30pm, he decided to urinate off the back of the boat.
When the victim approached to tell him off, Fisher punched him in the face.
The vessel returned to Steamer Wharf so the defendant could be offloaded, prompting him to direct racial slurs at the victim.
On the wharf, he had to be restrained on the ground by a member of the public, and continued to behave aggressively towards other onlookers and police.
Brandts-Giesen told Fisher he should have waited in the queue for a loo like everyone
else on board.
‘‘The act of urination was totally uncalled for.’’
Considering Fisher’s application for a discharge without conviction on charges of assault
and offensive behaviour, he took into account his early guilty plea and voluntary attendance at drug and alcohol counselling.
Countering that, the defendant had recently been granted diversion by police for other
However, a conviction would put his job at ‘‘some risk’’ and potentially jeopardise his plans to relocate to the United States.
Those consequences were out of proportion to the low gravity of the offending, and he
granted the discharge on the condition the defendant pay $600 reparation to the victim by March 31.
● Steven Tumahoki Hona, 48, of Lake Hayes Estate, assault in a family relationship,
December 23, nine months’ supervision, reparation $400.
● Brook Alan Johnson, 25, real estate agent, of Queenstown, aggravated drink-driving,
744mcg, Shotover Delta Road, March 6, fined $2000, disqualified 15 months, zero-alcohol licence provisions.
● Paul Jason Hartley, 43, of Frankton, assault, October 12, 60 hours’ community work.