Tourists in Queenstown street brawl face jail time


Two Scandinavian travellers involved in a street brawl are “looking squarely at prison” unless their families can send “a substantial amount of money” their way, according to a judge. 

Drunken Dutch visitor Frank Stoel, 21, and Jesper Jensen from Denmark, were arrested at 4.20am yesterday morning after a fighting outside Base Backpackers on Shotover Street. 

Queenstown District Court heard yesterday that the pair had a verbal stoush with another man before Stoel sconed him on the side of the head. Then both Stoel and Jensen starting attacking him, before he was kicked and bashed on the ground. 

“He tried to get away by crawling backwards,” sergeant Ian Collin says. 

The local victim, 21, was left with a swollen lip, scratches to his face and bruising resulting from what judge Kevin Phillips called “serious street violence”. 

“A term of imprisonment is going to be inevitable,” Judge Phillips warned, for “a vicious assault using feet when a man is on the ground”. 

The men pleaded guilty to a joint charge of injuring with intent to injure and will appear for sentencing later this month. 

Cannabis dealer convicted

A Glenorchy teen collared for dealing cannabis could face a prison sentence. 

Farm hand Joshua James Veint was caught by cops after he sent a text out to a number of people saying he could supply them with drugs, Queenstown District Court heard. 

When police carried out a search warrant at his address, they found spotting knives, glass bongs and cannabis. 

He was convicted on four charges including possession of utensils, breach of supervision and two of selling cannabis. 

“He admitted the utensils were his but he had got off the drug scene but hadn’t got rid of the utensils,” Collin said. 

Veint was convicted and will appear for sentencing on May 2. 

“A sentence of imprisonment might very well follow,” Judge Phillips said. 

In a separate case, the court heard how another local, Michael James Ede, was also caught red-handed with cannabis stuffed down his underwear. 

The factory worker tried to flee from police after being stopped driving near Lake Hayes at 4.30am on Saturday. 

He tried to run off and hide in long grass at the side of the road before re-emerging. Police found a cannabis cigarette in his leather jacket and uncovered a tin-foil package containing two grams of cannabis in his underwear when he was searched at the station. 

“Hit the habit on the head,” Judge Phillips advised Ede, who received 40 hours’ community work.

Hobbit licence

A Queenstown lighting and film technician has been granted a limited driving licence so he can work on epic film The Hobbit

James Couper, 32, from Arthurs Point was caught drink-driving on February 16 and disqualified for eight months.
He sought the limited licence to truck equipment to film locations in Central Otago.

Emotional harm pay-out

A Wanaka woman who fell from her horse after it was spooked by a helicopter has pocketed $6000. 

Helicopter pilot and business director Paul Horrell has been ordered to pay the cash for emotional harm to the 28-year-old horse trekking guide, who has been granted name suppression. 

Queenstown District Court heard how the woman suffered concussion, bruising and pelvic injuries which now make riding painful and could cause early arthritis. 

Horrell failed to do a reconnaissance of an area in the Cardrona Valley before dropping down to inspect a 
construction site and hovering above it on June 1, 2009. 

Horrell had pleaded guilty to the Civil Aviation Authority charge of operating a Hughes 369E helicopter in a careless manner, namely by operating at a low level in the Cardrona Valley without avoiding hazard to people and property. 

In Queenstown District Court yesterday, Judge Phillips said the women had more than 20 years riding experience and though her horse was new to her and trekking, she wouldn’t have let it throw her easily. 

“If you had done what good practice requires, the victim would’ve been aware of your presence…and this whole tragedy could have been avoided,” Judge Phillips noted. 

“She’s had a huge amount of pain and it’s all impacted on her emotionally and physically. The simple task of reconnaissance would’ve avoided this.” 

Horrell was acknowledged as being a man of good character and had previously offered $5000 for emotional harm to the victim. 

“I thank you for the offer made and hope [the money] will start the healing [for the victim],” Judge Phillips said.