Queenstown backpackers flasher convicted

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A South African man has been convicted of flashing his erect penis at women in a Queenstown backpacker accommodation toilet.

Joshua Jodie Sneddon, 23, pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent exposure when he appeared before Queenstown District Court this morning (Monday).

The court heard Sneddon, of Fryer Street, Queenstown, went to the women’s ablution block at the backpackers three times in September, even though he was not staying there.

On September 2, at about 9.30pm he hid in one of the shower cubicles, waited until a woman came into the block and then walked out naked.

Police prosecutor Penny Stratford says: “He asked if this was the boys’ block and she turned around to see he was naked. The woman went back to the common area, told her friends and they laughed it off.”

Forty minutes later, Sneddon approached a woman in the same manner and again later that night.

“He was naked and had an erection, with only a small towel across his chest,” Stratford says.

On September 4, police say Sneddon entered the same block at about 6pm while two women were showering. He entered the cubicle next to one of the women and then put his erect penis through the gap at the bottom into her cubicle.

On September 9, at 12.10am, he was spotted in the block and challenged by a group of guests. He climbed out of a small window but was caught outside, restrained and then arrested when police arrived.

Judge Kevin Phillips convicted Sneddon, who was remanded on bail for sentencing until December 17.

Judge Phillips ordered comprehensive pre-sentence reports including alcohol and drug assessments and emotional harm assessment for the backpackers and any victims that could be traced.

Violent cannabis grower sentenced

A Queenstowner found with a sophisticated small cannabis farm in his Lake Hayes Estate garage has been sentenced to home detention.

Bronson Wayne Wilton, 27, admitted cultivating nine cannabis plants in a dedicated growing tent complete with fertiliser, heating, lights and an extractor fan.

The immature plants would have yielded three-quarters of a kilo of cannabis every six weeks on fruition.

Wilton was also sentenced for an assault on an 18-year-old holiday maker at Queenstown Lake View Holiday Park on December 29 – one suprise and unprovoked punch to the face that left the victim with a broken nose, depressed cheek bones and heavy concussion.

Judge Kevin Phillips says: “You are a violent man,” at Queenstown District Court this afternoon. “You have an appalling history in relation to violence and breaching sentences.”

In sentencing, Judge Phillips says he didn’t accept that Wilton was growing the cannabis for personal use and a quantity would have been placed on the market, although Wilton was not charged with possession with intent to supply.

Wilton was sentenced to four months’ home detention for the cultivation charge and two months for the assault charge, to run concurrently. He must also complete 150 hours’ community work.

Wilton will serve the home detention at a house in Papamoa, near Tauranga, North Island, from December 4. His partner is expecting their first child within the next few weeks.

The victim will be paid $600 emotional harm by Wilton, who was also convicted and discharged for breaching a supervision order.

Bus driver loses licence

A Queenstown bus driver has been banned from the roads for seven months after pleading guilty to drink driving.

Peter David Mitchell was double the legal limit when caught by police behind the wheel of his private car on Panorama Terrace, Queenstown, in the early hours of Sunday, October 25.

The 48-year-old, of Longwood Place, had been out to the cinema with a friend and then for drinks. The court heard they had consumed at least one bottle of wine before walking back to the friend’s house.

Mitchell woke up some time later and decided to leave. His car was at the property and he decided to drive because it was raining.

Police conducting random spot checks stopped his car. A blood test revealed a blood alcohol level of 162 millilitres of alcohol per litre of blood. The legal limit is 80ml.

Judge Phillips says: “You are a professional driver and at 3.30am you are driving a motor vehicle through residential areas of Queenstown while intoxicated. There is no allegation of driving fault but the blood alcohol reading is extremely high.”

Lawyer Mike Newall says Mitchell is extremely remorseful and ashamed and embarrassed by his actions.

Judge Phillips also fined Mitchell $730 and ordered he pay $320 in costs and medical test expenses.

Stealing food, tobacco on the job

A former Night ‘n’ Day worker has admitted stealing food and tobacco while on the job at the grocery store.

Brazilian national Eduardo Araujo-Lima pleaded guilty to a representative charge of theft of grocery items valued between $500-$1000.

The court heard that Araujo-Lima, 34, was caught on in-store cameras pinching sandwiches and hot food and eating it in store on his break while he worked the night shift during August. He was also found taking two tobacco pouches and putting them in his pocket without paying for them.

Araujo-Lima admitted stealing items regularly since January this year. He was fired as a result and now works as a plasterer.

Judge Kevin Phillips called Araujo-Lima’s actions a “gross abuse of trust”.

“You have abused your overall position of having a working visa in New Zealand by acting in this way and brought people who come to NZ to work into discredit generally by your particular action.”

He was sentenced to 80 hours’ community work and ordered to pay $500 in reparation.

Pilot admits drink-driving crash

Queenstown pilot Ronald Grant Stewart has admitted a charge of driving a vehicle while drunk, causing injury.

Stewart, 50, was driving on State Highway 6 near the Shotover Bridge on at about 6pm October 21 when he hit another vehicle, causing the other driver to be hospitalised.

The court heard that Stewart was found by police in the back seat of his car with another passenger, and he told cops that they were driven back to town from Millbrook Resort by an unknown person who fled the scene.

Stewart later admitted driving and was found to have 137 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80mg. He was convicted and remanded on bail for sentence on December 17.

Threatening haka man sentenced

An Auckland man who took offence after someone asked him about performing a haka has been sentenced.

Matthew Hirini Campbell, 35, was originally charged with assault after the April 11 incident at Southern Laughter Backpackers but today pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of behaving in a threatening manner likely to cause violence.

The court heard that Campbell was drunk at the backpackers and acting aggressively before he took his top off to perform a haka in the main public room at the backpackers.

A male teacher approached Campbell after he’d performed the haka to ask him questions and Campbell took offence and grabbed the man. The man dropped to the ground in fear he would be attacked and Campbell verbally abused him as he stood over him.

Campbell, who failed to complete an earlier sentence of 345 hours’ community work and has $10,000 in outstanding fines, has spent the past six weeks in custody.

Judge Phillips remitted the community work and sentenced Campbell to two months’ prison – meaning he has served his sentence while in custody for the past six weeks. He ordered Campbell to pay the outstanding fines by February 11.

Cigarette seller fined

A Night n Day shop assistant who sold cigarettes to a 15-year-old girl has been fined $200.

Michael Hadijanto, 36, today admitted a charge of selling a tobacco product to a person under 18 years old on April 17.

The girl had volunteered herself to try to buy cigarettes from 10 different tobacco retailers in Queenstown during a controlled purchase sting run by the Minstry of Health.

Nine other local retailers refused selling cigarettes to the girl when she failed to produce identification.

Hadijanto, who has since received a warning from his employer, apologised for not asking for ID.

Teenage drink driver

An 18-year-old Queenstowner caught drink driving has been sentenced to 40 hours’ community work and banned for three months.

Ryan Thomas Barkley, of Sunshine Bay, blew 221 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when stopped by police on Wednesday, October 24. The legal limit for under 20s is zero, although anything under 150mgs is dealt with demerit points and a fine rather than court.

Lawyer Phena Byrne told the court the Queenstown Resort College student admitted he had been out drinking beers with friends and playing pool before driving. Byrne says Barkley does not have an income but his father had offered to pay the fine.

Judge Phillips says: “The penalty is yours not your father’s. You father wasn’t driving the car. It was your decision.”

Repeat drink drive offender 

Arrowtown plumber Barry Robert Anderson has been convicted of his third or more drink drive offence.

The 33-year-old pleaded guilty at Queenstown District Court this morning and faces jail when sentenced on Monday, December 17.

Anderson gave a blood alcohol reading of 178 millilitres of alcohol per litre of blood when tested. The legal limit is 80 millilitres. Judge Phillips ordered pre-sentence reports.

Appalling conduct – judge

Caterer Joanne Vivienne Downer was banned from driving for six months after pleading guilty to drink driving at Queenstown District Court.

Downer, 42, blew 772 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when stopped by police at 1am on Stanley Street on October 12. The legal limit is 400mgs.

The court head the Lake Hayes Estate resident had been out drinking in town after a Queenstown Chamber of Commerce function.

Judge Phillips says: “This is appalling conduct. How are we supposed to educate the young when mature adults like yourself are getting totalled and then driving?”

Downer was also fined $700.