A farmer who drunkenly set two fires in a Queenstown pub on a stag-do has narrowly avoided prison.
William Huntly Stuart Jones was arrested after the Pig & Whistle was evacuated on January 2.
Smashed Jones, 28, had been given a nurse’s uniform by other members of the group. He then set it alight and threw it at a group of unknown patrons before going into the ladies’ toilet and setting fire to a toilet roll.
“I don’t know how I came to be in possession of a cigarette lighter and a nurse’s uniform,” Jones says, according to his lawyer Nic Soper.
“I’ve never been that drunk as I was on that particular day. I’m absolutely horrified at what I’ve done.”
Originally charged with arson, Jones was sentenced at Queenstown District Court on Monday after admitting the lesser charge of intentional damage.
Soper, seeking a discharge without conviction, says Jones’ behaviour was “totally out of character’’ and was attributed to the “eroding and corrosive influence of alcohol’’.
Jones was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service and fined $2000 by Judge Michael Turner who said the incident was not an accident and believed the culpability was at the “top end of the scale’’.
Bouncer allegedly attacked
A New Zealander was charged with assault after allegedly attacking a bouncer at Winnies nightclub.
Sergeant Mark Gill says: “The man allegedly had an altercation with a bouncer who was breaking up a disturbance, punching him a number of times.”
The man, who lives in Australia, ran off but was stopped near Steamer Wharf by police and arrested.
His Southlander brother, 24, was also arrested on Steamer Wharf for disorderly behaviour after deciding to become involved.
Jail for vicious teen
A Queenstown teen has been sentenced to eight months’ jail after a vicious unprovoked attack on Australian university students.
Taane John Pollard Grey, 19, admitted assault with intent to injure and two counts of com-
mon assault, relating to an incident in the Queenstown CBD last July.
Grey, also convicted in Queenstown District Court on Monday of driving offences, had punched three men and kicked one several times when he and pals attacked the group.
Drunk Frenchman detoxed
A drunk French tourist who repeatedly phoned Queenstown police demanding somewhere to sleep was granted his request – with a night in the cells.
The 24-year-old was picked up for detox outside the police station at 2.30am on Saturday. The vehicle he was sleeping in had been impounded by police when his mate was stopped for drink-driving earlier that evening.
“He was continually ringing police, I assume on the phone outside the station, demanding somewhere to sleep,” Sergeant Gill says. “He was described as very annoying.”
The man’s 24-year-old friend had blown 746 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath in a test at 10pm that night on Stanley Street. His keys were seized and he was charged.
An 27-year-old American living in Queenstown spent Sunday morning in the cells after being picked up for detox at 3.30am.
“He was observed stumbling across the road in front of a police car, gesturing,” Gill says.
Officers assessed he was so drunk and belligerent he needed to be temporarily locked up for his own safety.
Police stops yield results
Queenstown police caught a Middlemarch man on outstanding warrants to interview after stopping his vehicle.
The 32-year-old was charged with ‘unlawful conversion of a vehicle’ – using a car he was no longer legally entitled to use – after being pulled over at 11.25am on Sunday.
Officers also arrested a 22-year-old Alexandra man, who gave false details when stopped on Frankton-Ladies Mile Highway at 9.25am on Saturday. The man, disqualified from driving, said he was someone else when he did a positive breath test of 545mgs
But he coughed up when about to be finger-printed and was charged with drink-driving, driving while disqualified and giving false details.