Queenstown boxing night thug is sentenced

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A Frankton roofer who held a broken glass to another man’s jaw at a Winter Festival event has been sentenced to community work.

David William Miller, 29, pleaded guilty to assaulting Matthew Ryall after Ryall allegedly told him that he “wasn’t good enough” for Miller’s girlfriend during the Thriller in the Chiller charity boxing event at the Events Centre on June 26.

Appearing in Queenstown District Court before Judge Dominic Flatley today (Monday), the court heard that Miller and his girlfriend had been sitting, drinking at a table with Ryall during the fight night when Miller got sick of the goading, his lawyer Maxine Knowler said.

“The defendant couldn’t take it anymore. He broke a glass on the edge of the table and held it against the victim’s lower jaw,” she said.

“He didn’t intend to use it as a weapon but he admits he used it to threaten him.”

Ryall suffered a “small nick” to the face.

Later that night he returned to his flat and while waiting for someone else to arrive with house keys, Ryall showed up for retaliation, Knowler said.

“The victim appeared and gave him a hiding on his front lawn.”

Ryall has already pleaded guilty to assaulting Miller and is serving 60 hours’ community work.

Judge Flatley told Miller his offending was “serious”.

“It’s an extremely dangerous and stupid thing to do. It could have gone horribly wrong…and you could be facing a much more serious charge.

Judge Flatley sentenced him to 150 hours’ community work, nine months’ supervision and must undergo a drug and alcohol assessment.

Schoolboy fined

A Wakatipu High student has been fined $500 after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

William Cassidy, 18, was caught driving with 509 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath on State Highway 6 on August 4.

The court heard that Cassidy didn’t have enough money for a taxi home after drinking in the early hours of the morning so decided to get behind the wheel instead.

Addressing Cassidy, Judge Flatley said: “It’s not a good look, is it. You’re still at school.

“Here you are in court so soon after your 18th birthday…let’s hope you have learnt from this and we don’t see you in the future.”

Cassidy was also ordered to pay court costs of $132 and disqualified from driving for six months.

Warning for overseas drivers

An Italian man who caused a car accident because he drove on the wrong side of the road has been fined.

Mirko Falchi, 35, pleaded guilty to three counts of careless driving causing injury after crashing into another vehicle on the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road on August 4.

The court heard that Falchi was driving his rental car to a backpacker hostel on Lake Esplanade but had driven past it, heading towards Glenorchy.

After pulling over to read his map, Falchi turned his car around – but instead of continuing in the left lane, he drove in the wrong lane approaching a blind corner. He hit a woman driving a truck, who sustained minor bruising to the chest and was admitted to Lakes District Hospital.

Prosecuting sergeant Penny Stratford says Falchi told police that “he thought he was home in Italy where he is used to driving on the other side of the road”.

Judge Flatley told Falchi: “The message needs to be said loud and clear to others driving on our roads – when they are in NZ they need to be vigilant at all times.

“It’s a real worry to those in NZ who drive on roads, because particularly in this part of the country there are a lot of blind bends.”

Falchi, who flies home to Italy tomorrow, was ordered to pay a $500 fine, $500 to the victim for emotional harm, $132 in court costs and disqualified from driving in NZ for six months.