Queenstown flower pot attacker pleads guilty


A Queenstown woman who threw a pot plant at another woman’s head will be sentenced next month.

Local cook Tara Lynne McCrostie, 42, pleaded guilty in Queenstown District Court to assaulting Justine Lord at the Boiler Room on May 26.

The court heard that McCrostie was refused entry to the bar at 1am and she proceeded to get into a verbal altercation with the bouncer, which lasted 10 minutes.

“She picked up a metal flower pot outside the bar and hurled it at the barman. It missed and struck the victim’s forehead,” prosecuting sergeant Grant Gerken says.

In explanation, McCrostie told police that she was angry with the bouncer but didn’t mean to strike Lord.

McCrostie has previous assault convictions and has problems with alcohol.

“This type of behavior at this time of the morning demands a stern response,” Judge Turner says.

He remanded her on bail for sentencing on August 13. He ordered presentence reports into home detention and community detention but said all sentencing options are open. 

Indian driver who caused head-on smash fined

An Indian man on his honeymoon who caused a head-on smash near Frankton last month has been sentenced.

Mohit Dhanjibhai Patel, 22, pleaded guilty to four charges of dangerous driving causing injury and one charge of dangerous driving on June 22.

The court heard that Patel, his wife and two other honeymooning couples were travelling in two campervans from the West Coast to Queenstown on the day of the incident.

Patel was observed overtaking a motorist on a blind corner on his way towards Wanaka earlier that afternoon.

As he was driving his wife and another couple on State Highway 6 towards Queenstown at 5pm, he crossed the double yellow lines near Glenda Drive in Frankton. One on-coming motorist swerved to avoid him but a Laser Electrical trade vehicle driven by Scott McIvor hit Patel head-on.

“The impact caused massive damage to both vehicles and shunted the victim’s vehicle back into the left gutter. The defendant’s vehicle was left perpendicular to the road, straddling the yellow lines,” prosecuting sergeant Grant Gerken says.

McIvor, who managed to free himself from his work vehicle, suffered a broken fibular, fractured right ankle and lacerations to his lips and face.

Patel’s wife had concussion and complained of pain in her head and hips.

One of the backseat passengers in Patel’s van had cuts to the face and legs, and the other fractured his right right femur. Patel suffered major abdominal injuries and had to be airlifted to Dunedin.

Duty solicitor Mike Newell told Judge Michael Turner that Patel doesn’t remember his actions leading up to the crash and must have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Patel was fined $750, ordered to pay reparations of $7308 and an emotional harm payment of $1000 to McIvor.

Drink-drive warning for 20-year-old waitress

A 20-year-old Queenstown waitress has been warned she’ll go to jail if she drink-drives again.

Jaynisha Patel appeared in court today for driving more than two times the legal limit on June 30 – just 25 days after being sentenced for an earlier drink-driving offence.

The court heard that Patel had chosen to drive instead of letting a friend take the wheel, who was also intoxicated. She was stopped randomly by police on Dublin Street at 4am, and produced a breath alcohol reading of 820 micrograms.

Judge Turner sentenced Patel to 250 hours’ community work because of her age and “degree of immaturity”.

“If you offend again you are very much looking at a jail sentence and your age will not save you,” he says.

Patel was also disqualified for nine months, to begin when her current disqualification period expires in December.