Road rage incident ‘appalling’


A judge has labelled an Arrowtown road rage incident as an “appalling piece of behaviour”.

In March, Arrowtown builder Richard John Mee-Chang, 40, assaulted Brigg and Susan Maund, while their three terrified children were in the car, before trying to run them off the road four times in the Arrowtown area on March 12.

No one was injured but the Maunds’ car was left with dents from punches.

Mee-Chang – who has “four pages” of prior convictions dating back to 1998 and is now out of work – got angry after the Maunds flashed their lights at him for driving his Holden at walking pace, with his dog walking alongside.

In Queenstown’s court on Monday, Judge Richard Russell says the couple couldn’t believe such an attack could happen in Arrowtown.

Their victim impact statements say they’ve suffered mental trauma and had difficulty sleeping for several days.

Susan Maund was afraid of encountering Mee-Chang in public places.

Russell says the attack was unprovoked and he echoed the comments of the Maunds’ lawyer, that the incident escalated unnecessarily.

“I accept that you have got some personal issues … but all of that really is cold comfort to those victims, including those young children.”

Mee-Chang said he had been changing medication at the time of the incident, had taken two sleeping pills and had limited recall.

But probation services say he showed little remorse or empathy and was “mostly concerned about the impact of his offending on himself”.

For the assaults, Russell sentenced him to four months’ community detention, including a daily curfew from 7pm to 7am.

He was also sentenced to 100 hours’ community work, 20 per cent of which could be converted to basic work and living skills training.

He was was ordered to pay $500 to each of the victims by instalment. For reckless driving, he was disqualified for 12 months.

Bite ‘self-defence’

A Queenstown man who ran to the aid of his brother and bit a doorman was acting in self-defence, a judge has found.

Judge Russell acquitted Ned Edward Reo Webster, 33, asphalt supervisor, of assaulting doorman Daniel Lawson about midnight on December 10.

Webster was pinned by Lawson and bit him on the stomach because he was struggling to breathe.

Russell says Webster wasn’t acting in defence of his brother when biting the doorman.

“I accept, however, at the time Mr Webster bit Mr Lawson he was being pinned down.” Russell says biting a person is serious and could have “lasting consequences”.

“On the other hand, Mr Webster says he suffers from asthma. He was screaming he couldn’t breathe, he was pinned under Mr Lawson’s body and was agitated.

“I have to say certainly to some extent Mr Webster was the author of his own misfortune by intervening to help his brother.”

Russell says it appears Webster had limited options available and he must give him the benefit of the doubt on whether the force used was reasonable.

“Accordingly … I have not found the charge proved to the required standard of proof.”

Double assault

A man who attacked two bouncers in central Queens-town last week has been ordered to make emotional harm payments.

Ian James Flinn, 31, a Kiwi living in Camp Hill, Australia, admitted assaulting Jake Hennessy and Daniel Lawson in Church Street last Friday.

Sergeant Ian Collin says Flinn, who was drunk, punched one in the face and bit the other’s thumb at 3.20am after a run-in with an unknown group of men.

Lawyer Sonia Vidal says the unfortunate combination of alcohol and medication is partly to blame.

Flinn had stopped taking anti-depressants but they might have been in his system.

Flinn was convicted and fined a total of $600, court costs $260, and ordered to make emotional harm payments of $250 to each victim.

Pane-ful experience

A Queenstowner has been discharged without conviction after making amends for damaging a glass door and assault in April.

Harry Martin Burden, 30, completed more than 40 hours’ voluntary community work at the Salvation Army, paid for the door’s repair and donated $250 to Jigsaw Central Lakes.