Queenstown teen jailed for vicious attack

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A Queenstown teenager has been sentenced to eight months’ jail following a vicious unprovoked attack against Australian university students last year. 

Taane John Pollard Grey,19, admitted assault with intent to injure and two counts of common assault, relating to an incident in the Queenstown CBD on July 14.

Pollard-Grey had been drinking at a bar with a group of mates before coming across a group of about 10 visiting Australian university students, Queenstown District Court heard.

One of Pollard-Grey’s associates became verbally abusive towards the group and then punched one man in the face, Judge Michael Turner says.

The group “reacted” by trying to stop Pollard-Grey’s associate, who was “trying to take another swing at the victim”. 

“You approached [the first victim] and you king hit him with a closed fist once to the face.” 

That man fell to the ground and Pollard-Grey kicked him. 

Judge Turner said a friend of that victim went to his aid, but Pollard-Grey and his associate approached him, “and punched him to the ground”. 

“You and your associate kicked him several times and he suffered a sore head and parts of his head were numb . . . there was some swelling to the left side of his face. 

“Not content with that, you ran to the third victim, punched him [to] the left side of the face and caused him to fall down. 

“He tried to get up but was dizzy,” Judge Turner said. 

Pollard-Grey was spoken to some weeks later and admitted the offending. 

While he was given credit for his guilty plea and his “limited remorse”, aggravating factors included the unprovoked nature of the attack, his attention to the head of the second victim in particular and the delivery of multiple kicks. 

Pollard-Grey also admitted driving while forbidden, drink-driving with a breath alcohol level of 544mcg and providing false details to police, all at Invercargill on October 6. 

For assault with intent to injure, Pollard-Grey was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, with leave to apply for a substitute sentence and ordered to pay $300 emotional harm reparation to the victim at $20 per week, with the first payment due one month after his prison release. 

On each assault charge he was sentenced to one month imprisonment, to be served concurrently, and ordered to pay $150 each to both victims at $20 per week. 

For drink-driving he was sentenced to one month imprisonment, to be served concurrently, and disqualified from driving for eight months. 

On the charges of providing false details and driving while forbidden he was convicted and discharged.

Farmer narrowly avoids prison
A visiting farmer who damaged a pub toilet on a stag do in Queenstown has narrowly escaped prison.

William Huntly Stuart Jones (28), farmer, had initially been charged with arson following the incident at the Pig & Whistle pub, which occurred on January 2.

At his sentencing in Queenstown District Court yesterday, defence counsel Nic Soper - seeking a conviction and discharge for his client - said Jones appeared before the court “chastened, thoroughly embarrassed and genuinely remorseful”.

Soper said Jones’ behaviour was “totally out of character” and it was attributed to the “eroding and corrosive influence of alcohol on that day”.

Jones was attending an associate’s stag do and, following an “organised” day of drinking, arrived at the Pig in Queenstown.

“Mr Jones was inadvertently taken advantage of by other members of his group in that his intoxicated condition was … seen as being quite amusing or humorous to them.

“He was provided with a lighter and a nurses uniform – why is totally unknown.

“From that point on he has nothing but the vaguest of recollections of what he did.”

The police summary said Jones took the lighter and the nurses uniform and approached a group of unknown patrons at the bar, lit the uniform on fire and then “threw the burning item” on to the table they were sitting at.

The uniform “smouldered”.

Jones then went into the female toilets, where he set fire to a large toilet roll, housed in a plastic covering, and left the area.

Judge Turner said shortly after that the fire was detected by patrons and staff, the bar was evacuated and by the time the fire service arrived the fire had been put out.

However, Soper said when Jones was interviewed by police, he “had very little idea where he was or what he was being spoken to about”.

The following day Jones “managed to piece together” with assistance of other members of the group what had happened.

He immediately contacted the owner of the Pig & Whistle to apologise and “asked what he needed to do”.

Jones also visited the Queenstown Volunteer Fire Station and apologised for the inconvenience and provided a donation at the fire service’s suggestion.

Soper said all his client could say was “I’ve never been that drunk as I was on that particular day; I don’t know what happened; I don’t know how I came to be in possession of a cigarette lighter and a nurses uniform; I’m absolutely horrified at what I’ve done”.

Judge Turner said the incident was not “an accident” and believed the culpability was at the “top end of the scale”.

“It’s that culpability that takes it from a conviction and discharge to something much more than that.

“What you did could well have ended in tragedy _ it was good fortune that it didn’t, certainly not good management.”

Judge Turner told Jones his initial thought was to send him to prison, with leave to apply for home detention.

However, after hearing from Mr Soper and reviewing the case, he decided to “stop short of that”.

Jones was convicted and sentenced to 200 hours’ community work, fined $2000 and ordered to pay $132.89 in court costs. 

Fined for assaulting bouncer
A FORMER Invercargill man, now living in Australia, was fined $1000 after admitting assaulting a security guard in Queenstown on March 9. 

Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said Johnathon Paul Clark (29), of Australia, was at Winnies in the Queenstown CBD about 1.45am and was intoxicated. 

The victim, Edward Stott, worked for Allied Security and was employed at Winnies. 

Sergeant Collin said one of Clark’s associates got into a verbal argument with another man on the dance floor, so the defendant stepped in and shoved the other male backwards forcefully with both hands. 

Stott was called to the dance floor and stepped between Clark and the other man asking Clark to move back and step away. 

An unknown person restrained Stott by grabbing both his arms and pulling them behind his back, at which point Clark punched Mr Stott three times to the face with a closed fist, connecting each time with the left side of his jaw. 

Clark left Winnies and police were called, locating him on Earnslaw Park. 

On seeing the police Clark ran towards Steamer Wharf before being stopped. 

Clark offered no explanation to police. 

Judge Turner said his conduct left “a lot to be desired”. 

“You put it down to excessive alcohol consumption . . . you need to firstly do something about your drinking and how you behave when you’ve been drinking.” 

Judge Turner said Stott had been employed in the security industry in Queenstown for four years and it was the first time “anything like this had happened to him”. 

Clark was convicted and fined $1000, court costs $132.89 and ordered to make an emotional harm payment of $500. 

Fines and costs were to be paid by 4pm today(Mar 11) – failure to do so would result in 14 days imprisonment.

Armed trio admit tooling up for revenge
 
THREE friends who armed themselves with a wooden pole and a baseball bat ahead of a confrontation in Wanaka have admitted the offending. 

The trio, jointly charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence at the quiet township’s lakefront last month, appeared in Queenstown District Court yesterday and will be sentenced on April 22. 

The incident involved Dylan Poara Cooper-Slee (20), of Wanaka, Blair William Trevathan (27), unemployed, and Michael Christopher Rawlings (21), of Wanaka, at Ardmore St on February 9. 

Prosecuting Sergeant Rob Mills said Cooper-Slee and Trevathan were there about 3.10am and had been drinking. 

Both were intoxicated and got into a fight with another group of males. 

The pair left the scene and returned to Cooper-Slee’s home address, where they called Rawlings. 

Sergeant Mills said the trio arranged to meet back at Ardmore St – Trevathan was armed with a baseball bat, while Cooper-Slee had with him a wooden pole. 

After returning to Ardmore St the trio encountered three males they had the previous altercation with and confronted them. 

“A fight ensued [and was] witnessed by two people - both were frightened by the behaviour.” 

Trevathan was grabbed by a person who attempted to take the baseball bat from him, however, he continued to smash the bat against a bollard. 

When spoken to, Cooper-Slee said Rawlings and Trevathan were involved in the second confrontation and while he had a wooden pole, “he didn’t intend to hit anyone with it”. 

Judge Turner remanded the trio to April 22 for sentencing, seeking a pre-sentence report for each of them to address community detention options. 

“Community detention is the starting point, as far as I’m concerned. |

“It keeps you at home and away from this sort of trouble in the middle of the night.”

Careless driver 

Leone Marner (23), journalist, of South Africa, admitted drink-driving and careless driving causing injury to former NZ Post worker and mail theif Philippa Lynette Lindsay on December 11 at Queenstown. 

Sergeant Gill said at about 2am Marner was driving on Peninsula Rd when she drifted on to the other side of the road, about 700m west of the Frankton-Kingston Rd. 

Marner lost control of the vehicle which skidded on to the other side of the road and into a rock face causing it to flip and spin 180 degrees to face the way it came. 

A blood alcohol test gave a level of 121mg. 

Her front-seat passenger sustained a fractured ankle, brusing and seat-belt burns as a result of the crash. 

Judge Turner remanded Marner to April 22 for sentencing, ordering a pre-sentence report to address community and home detention options and also sought an emotional harm and reparation report in respect of the victim.

Potted for possession
Elizabeth Ann Roberts (44), chef, of Queenstown, was fined a total of $400 after admitting possession of Class C-controlled cannabis and possession of utensils on February 21. 

Sergeant Gill said police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s address and found her sitting on the couch. 

After being informed the reason the police were there, the defendant pointed out several zip lock bags, one containing about two grams of cannabis plant material. 

At the conclusion of the warrant the police accompanied the defendant to another address, finding two glass pipes on the kitchen table, used to smoke cannabis. 

Roberts admitted buying a 50 bag of cannabis and smoking “a couple of joints” as well as ownership of the bongs. 

For possession of cannabis Roberts was fined $150 and court costs $132.89. For possession of utensils she was fined $250. 

Judge Turner also made an order for destruction of the items seized.

Duo discharged
Luiz Fernando Ribeiro Junior (34), kitchen hand, of Brazil and his partner Shilo Rei Mackie (27), housekeeper, were both discharged without conviction by Judge Turner yesterday. 

Earlier this year Ribeiro Junior admitted assaulting Mackie on January 24. 

Mackie also admitted assaulting him the same night. 

Both parties had done what the court asked of them prior to their appearance yesterday, resulting in the discharge without conviction. 

However, they were each ordered to pay $132.89 court costs.

Drink-drivers
Grant Peter McClintock, 46, builder, of Tauranga, 1068mcg February 23, fined $1100, court costs $132.89, disqualified eight months. 

Julie Hoff Bergvist Sorensen, 23, of Denmark, drink-driving, 754mcg, Lake Esplanade, February 13, fined $750, court costs $132.89, disqualified six months. 

Rian Paul Haynes, 37, of Lake Hawea, drink-driving, 1112mcg, Cemetery Rd, Wanaka, February 23, fined $1300, court costs $132.89, disqualified eight months. 

Gary William Logue, 24, roofer, of the United Kingdom, drink-driving, 574mcg, Richards Park Lane, February 14, fined $580, court costs $132.89, disqualified six months. 

John Joseph Loughran, 24, of Ireland, drink-driving, 909mcg, Lake Esplanade, March 2, fined $920, court costs $132.89, fines and costs to be paid by September 30, disqualified seven months.

Grocery thief
A pensioner has been done for shoplifting at a Queenstown supermarket. 

Vladimir Mandekic, 73, retired, of Yugoslavia, stole grocery items valued at $21.56 from Wakatipu New World last Wednesday. Mandekic was fined $200 and hit with court costs of $132.89. 

Joshua Lee Taylor (22), breached community work on January 26, at Queenstown – he was convicted and discharged.