Southern Lakes teen jailed for violent sex attack


A Southern Lakes teenager who sexually violated a teenage girl has been jailed for four years.

The 120kg youth attacked the youngster while staying at her home in early February.

Queenstown District Court yesterday heard he went into her room with a knife, dragged her from bed by the throat and led her outside – threatening to kill her if she screamed for help.

The teenager then groped and sexually violated his victim on the property’s driveway before running away when she screamed.

Sentencing, Judge Kevin Phillips said: “There is a degree of requiring to protect the community even though you are [a teenager] – that’s alarming.”

The offender had spent the evening drinking at the house during a small party before going to a nearby town for food.

He returned at 2am and entered her room, took items of clothing including underwear, and sat outside in his car waiting for her to return.

When he saw her return at 4am, he decided he wanted to rape her and returned to the house. He took a knife from the kitchen and the room he was staying in and went to her room.

“You have issues with violence and a totally distorted way of thinking,” Judge Phillips told the teenager.

“The most frightening element is that if she hadn’t screamed you would have got her to your car.”
Judge Phillips said the attack has had a massive impact on the family, with the girl’s mother suffering regular nightmares, night terrors and the whole family feeling vulnerable.

He said the victim showed bravery and a maturity that belies her age, “but her life will never be the same”.

The offender was given credit for his prompt guilty plea and co-operation with police, which allowed the case to be dealt with in just eight weeks. He had been arrested after returning to the property shortly after running away.

Crash carnage driver sentenced

A Queenstown driver who crashed into five cars after binge drinking and using synthetic cannabis has been sentenced to 400 hours’ community service.

Anthony Peter Hughes, 23, was also banned from driving for a year and given a 12-month supervision order at Queenstown District Court yesterday.

Hughes pleaded guilty to reckless driving at an earlier appearance after causing carnage on Queenstown streets in the early hours of November 18 last year.

After drinking at home, Hughes drove with a friend in the passenger seat along Hallenstein Street at 5.30am where he collided with two cars parked on opposite sides of the road, before smashing into a third further along the road.

Hughes then careered along Gorge Road, across the footpath and into a car sales yard where he crashed into two more cars.

Judge Kevin Phillips says: “Your offending is absolutely appalling.

“You had been drinking for a period of days and reading between the lines I’ve no doubt also using drugs because that’s what you do. You were totally blotto.”

Hughes was also ordered to pay more than $7400 to the cars’ owners in reparations.

Ski firm pleads not guilty

A Queenstown ski operator has pleaded not guilty to charges laid after two walkers were injured jumping from Coronet Peak ski field chairlift.

The Auckland couple needed surgery for the injuries they sustained in August last year. The woman’s leg was broken in four places and she faced amputation but doctors managed to save her leg.

NZSki staff had told the inexperienced couple to jump from the chairlift after it had passed the bullwheel.

The company face two charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 for failing to take practicable steps to ensure no hazards arose for customers and failing to ensure the safety of non-employees.

NZSki’s lawyer Rebecca Wolt entered the pleas on behalf of the company at Queenstown District Court yesterday.

The charges each carry a maximum $250,000. The case has been adjourned until April 22 for a status hearing. The victim was granted final name suppression.

Warrant for arrest of runaway mother

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Queenstown businesswoman charged with failing to return her child to New Zealand.

The 31-year-old failed to attend Queenstown District Court yesterday morning. Interim name suppression continued in her absence in order to protect the identity of the child.

The woman is accused of failing to comply with a parenting order and contravening the order by not returning the child from China. The child remains in China.

“As I indicated, the chances of her coming back were between zero and none,” Phillips says.

Lawyer John Westgate said he had received no instructions from his client. The woman had the child during a previous relationship with a man who lived in New Zealand. She travelled to China with the child for immunisations but returned alone. A $5000 bond has been forfeited.

A related case is also due to be heard by the family court.

Cannabis mum told to get help

A Queenstown cleaner found in possession of $600 worth of cannabis has been sentenced to 50 hours’ community work.

Jody Michelle King, 40, pleaded guilty to possession. Queenstown District Court heard police had searched her Hallenstein Street home on February 20.

Officers found 41 grams of the plant in a zip lock bag hidden in the linen cupboard. A further 1.7 grams was discovered in her bedside table.

Judge Kevin Phillips says: “You are a cannabis addict and need to get counselling.”

King, who has two previous convictions for possession of cannabis, presented a letter from her doctor that claims she uses the drug to help her sleep and control and itch. Phillips rejected the claims saying: “I didn’t arrive in the last shower.”

Labourer done for dangerous driving

A labourer who lost the plot after arguing with his former partner over custody of their child has been sentenced to community work.

Rhys Timothy Clark, 27, pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening manner and dangerous driving when he appeared in Queenstown District Court this morning.

Clark had threatened his former partner at the Tin Goose Café in Frankton on Feburary 26.

Sergeant Glen McMurdo told the court: “He was yelling abuse and the victim feared she was going to be punched by him.”

Clark also repeatedly circled the restaurant at speed in his Mitsubishi car. Judge Phillips sentenced him to 70 hours’ community work for dangerous driving, with a six month disqualification, and 40 hours’ community work for threatening behaviour to run concurrently.

Judge Kevin Phillips declined to hear the case of a Queenstown man he has known for 30 years.

Fraser John Skinner is charged with driving with excess breath alcohol. “I can’t deal with this matter – I’ve known Mr Skinner for a very long time, more than 30 years.” Skinner was remanded at large without plea until April 22.