A former Queenstown DJ who threw shot glasses at his former girlfriend – hitting her in the face – has narrowly avoided prison.
Wulf Steffen Solter was found guilty of injuring with intent and sentenced to eight months’ home detention, at Queenstown District Court on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old had thrown two shot glasses at his former partner while he was working at Tardis Bar in February last year.
One hit her in the face only an inch below her right eye, causing an injury that required laser surgery. The other struck her in the chest.
Judge Kevin Phillips, sentencing, says the couple’s relationship had ended eight months earlier with Solter “seeking solace at the bottom of a glass”.
The part-time DJ reacted angrily when she refused to leave the bar where he was working.
“You were yelling at her to leave … and then, because she ignored you … you got really upset about that,” Judge Phillips says.
“You went to the end of the bar where she was and you were telling her on no uncertain terms to leave the bar.
“Again, she ignored you. You lost control totally.
“You took two shot glasses that were on the bar … and then, you in that angry state … threw the shot glasses at her.”
Solter was sentenced to eight months’ home detention, during which time he was not to purchase, possess or consume alcohol, drugs or legal highs, including K2; not to contact the victim; undertake and complete alcohol and drug assessment, counselling, treatment or programmes as directed; and undertake and complete a domestic violence programme.
The conditions were also to extend for six months post his sentence end date.
Solter was also sentenced to 250 hours’ community work and ordered to pay a total of $5000 reparation to the victim by noon. Solter was also convicted and discharged on a breach of bail and sentenced to 40 hours’ community work for $8000 in fines outstanding.
Queenstown visitor busted for violent robbery lies
An Indian man who falsely claimed he was robbed at knife point in Queenstown has been fined $1200.
Judge Kevin Phillips dished out the fine in Queenstown District Court on Monday after Singh admitted making a false statement.
Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin told the court Singh presented himself at the Queenstown Police Station on Friday morning, alleging he and his wife, who live in Australia, had been held at knife point by two males and robbed of cash and valuables the night before.
Singh was spoken to by a detective and alleged about 7pm he and his wife were at the top of Turner Street when they were approached from behind by two males.
Singh told police the men, aged between 20 and 30, swore at the couple and presented a knife, claiming to have handed over a black shoulder bag, containing an iPad, a computer, papers and maps, while his wife had given them a Louis Vuitton handbag, containing $750 cash, two iPhones, cosmetics and perfumes.
Singh says the men took the bags and ran, giving police details of which streets they had taken.
Police were told by Singh he and his wife were upset, returned to their hotel room before deciding to go to the police.
Sergeant Collins says when a detective asked more questions of Singh he “became nervous and started to contradict earlier statements”.
“He was challenged about making a false statement and eventually admitted he lied. He then told police he had a run-in with two guys who had verbally abused them, but made no threats, [there was] no violence and no property was taken.
“He stated he wanted to punish the two guys because they had said bad words to him and his wife.”
Judge Phillips stood Singh down in custody for about an hour before the matter was recalled, at which time Singh began sobbing in the dock.
Phillips told Singh it was a serious offence and had the detective not been as astute and realised Singh was “a liar”, the two alleged offenders would have been charged with aggravated robbery and found it difficult to be granted bail.
“You’re leaving New Zealand today, I say good riddance,” Phillips said, ordering he pay a $1200 fine and court costs of $132.89.
Prison for Auckland man on crime spree
A FORMER Auckland man with 65 prior convictions was yesterday sentenced to 15 months in prison after a Queenstown crime spree.
Judge Kevin Phillips imposed the jail term on unemployed 30-year-old Anthony Pierre Hunia, who admitted assaulting Moetahi Walker with intent to injure her; getting into a BMW that wasn’t his; stealing a USB stick and cassette tape converter valued at $100, all on April 25 at Queenstown.
Hunia also admitted attempting to take a Nissan Bluebird, valued at $1500 on April 26 in Queenstown; and breaching his release conditions, on March 26, at Manurewa.
Defence counsel Kate McHugh said not including those charges, Hunia had 64 prior convictions, including indecent assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault – plus eight previous convictions for breaching release conditions and last year was sentenced to a two-month cumulative sentence for two of those breaches.
“He came to Queenstown for a fresh start … this is his first visit down here.
“He’s pretty disappointed with himself – he let his propensity for offending when he’s been drinking … lead him here.”
Judge Phillips said Hunia arrived in Queenstown with his partner, who he’d been living with for about a year, earlier in 2013.
On the night of April 25 he asked his partner for a cigarette and when she said no “you lost the plot”.
“When you became angry you told her you were going to give her a hiding and she said … she thought you were talking through a hole in the bottom part of your body.
“You punched her twice to the head, which knocked her to the ground. She managed to get up, grabbed her two children and ran from the house as you chased her.”
The victim suffered an injury to the right side of her face, swelling to the left cheek, bruising and headaches.
Walker called police but Hunia had left the property and went looking for motor vehicles, intending to return to Auckland.
At a car park on Brecon St, Hunia smashed the window of a Nissan Bluebird, entered it and used a screw driver to pull out the ignition barrel and try to start the car.
Hunia failed but took with him a music converter and a USB stick.
Later, at the Queenstown Gardens, he smashed the window of a BMW, entered the car and again used the screw driver to take out the ignition barrel, but couldn’t get the car to start.
Hunia was later found by police on the lake front drinking.
Judge Phillips said Hunia had $4600 in outstanding reparation, however, payments had been
deferred for further alternative action to be taken.
“What is really alarming to me here is your prior history. The problem with you is alcohol and drugs.
“You need to understand that you have to think of the consequences and assess them before …
not when you’re standing in the dock and a judge is talking to you.”
Judge Phillips sentenced him on the assault charge to 12 months’ imprisonment, with no leave to apply for a substitute sentence; for attempting to take a vehicle and interfering with a vehicle he was sentenced to three months’ on each, and 14 days for the theft of the USB stick and tape converter, all to be served simultaneously.
Hunia was also sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for the breach of release conditions, to be served cumulatively.
Community work for careless drink-driver
AN “naive” woman who lacked remorse must do 160 hours’ community work after admitting careless and drink-driving causing injury in Queenstown.
Leone Marner (23), journalist, of South Africa, admitted driving with blood alcohol level of 121mg, and careless driving causing injury to Philippa Lindsay at Peninsula Rd on December 11.
Defence counsel Kate McHugh told Queenstown District Court Marner and Lindsay had been at Marner’s home for a “sleep over” and drank a bottle of wine.
About 1.30am Marner received a call from friends in town and made a “spontaneous decision” to drive in and meet them.
Judge Kevin Phillips said due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed, the speed she was driving at and a “lack of knowledge”, when Marner drifted to the left-side of the road and hit gravel she “overreacted”.
“Your car got out of control and [stopped] because it came into contact with a cliff face.
“One of the most fortunate things is there wasn’t anyone coming home to Kelvin Heights who
all of a sudden had an out of control motor vehicle right in front of them.
“If that had happened it would’ve caused a huge tragedy. I’d have had to add to that tragedy today by sending you to prison for years.”
Lindsay suffered a fractured ankle, bruising and seatbelt burns.
The victim told Judge Phillips she suffered from nightmares, panic attacks and spent nine weeks at home because of her injury.
Restorative justice had not been possible as Lindsay was serving a sentence of imprisonment in Christchurch, McHugh said.
Judge Phillips said Marner was a young lady who consumed too much alcohol, seriously injured her friend and was a danger to the community.
“You don’t even know seem to think there should be any consequences for you at all. I just think you are naive.
“I think you need to look very carefully at your drinking before it gets you by the throat and ruins your life,” Judge Phillips told her.
In addition to the community work for the drink-driving charge, Marner was sentenced to 12
months’ supervision, with special conditions to attend and complete appropriate drug and alcohol counselling and any programme or treatment as directed.
Marner was also disqualified for nine months.
On the careless driving charge she was disqualified for six months and sentenced to 12 months’ supervision, both to be served concurrently, ordered to pay $555 reparation immediately and $500 emotional harm reparation to Lindsay by July 20.
‘Bought race into disrepute’ – judge
A man who spat at a Queenstown police officer has been sentenced to community work.
Judge Kevin Phillips told Charanjot Singh, 26, chef, of India, during his appearance in Queenstown District Court on Monday he’d brought his “race into disrepute”
Singh admitted assaulting constable Phil Hamblin and disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence on Frankton Rd on May 28 in Queenstown.
Sergeant Ian Collin said at 11.40pm Singh hailed a taxi in Queenstown and directed the female driver to take him to Frankton.
During the trip he became abusive, swearing and yelling at the driver, which she ignored.
Near the Greenstone Apartments on Frankton Rd Singh directed her to pull the taxi over – he was asked to pay the $15.40 fare but refused.
Collin said Singh continued yelling and swearing and became more aggressive, raising his fists in a “fighting stance”.
The driver got out of the vehicle and asked Singh to calm down, but he refused, reaching over and tooting the horn.
Collin said the driver activated her panic alarm, alerting other taxis, removed the keys to the vehicle and remained outside.
Singh then got into the driver’s seat, pulling the steering wheel and tooting the horn. When other taxis arrived at the scene the defendant got out of the van, walked across the road and down a driveway.
Police arrived and were accosted by him before he began spitting at constable Hamblin.
Singh broke free of the police and attempted to run away, however, he was arrested again.
“He again resisted and spat at the officers,” Collin alleged.
Singh was walked backwards to the police car but refused to sit in it and when constable Hamblin tried to put him across the back of the car, Singh bit his hand.
No injuries were caused, Collin said.
A spit shield had to be applied to Singh during his transportation to the police station.
Defence counsel Sonia Vidal said Singh was “thoroughly embarrassed and shocked” by his actions and claimed he had too much to drink during the evening, including whisky, vodka and tequila.
However, Judge Phillips said if Singh’s spit had landed on the skin or face of constable Hamblin he would have been sent to prison.
“You have brought your race into disrepute by taking this action, as well as yourself. Your apology letter is more of an insult to the constable than an apology.”
For disorderly behaviour he was ordered to pay $300 emotional harm to the taxi driver, to be paid immediately.
For assaulting constable Hamblin he was sentenced to 200 hours’ community work and ordered to pay $15.40 reparation.
Threat to kill
Joseph Paul Hotere, 36,, bricklayer, of Queenstown, admitted threatening to kill in Queenstown on May 13; and driving while forbidden in Queenstown on May 22.
Judge Phillips said in respect of the first charge, Hotere and his partner had been out celebrating her birthday with family members.
Alcohol had been consumed and later in the evening an argument broke out over Hotere’s behaviour.
He kicked out at a board, smashing it, and his partner retreated.
However, Hotere’s sister-in-law came to remonstrate with him and told him to calm down, but he continued “ranting and raving”, making various threats, including that he’d “kill her, her family and her unborn child”.
Hotere was sentenced to nine months’ supervision with special conditions to undergo a domestic violence programme; alcohol and drug assessment and any other counselling or treatment as directed. – Otago Daily Times