Veint pleads not guilty over ‘kidnapping’

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One of three men charged in an alleged Queenstown kidnapping has pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury on assault and kidnapping charges. 

Joshua James Veint, 23, farm hand, of Glenorchy, appeared before Judge Michael Turner on Friday facing charges stemming from his arrest in relation to a week-long police manhunt in the Queenstown area until his arrest on December 3. 

He entered not guilty pleas to assault with intent to injure and three kidnapping charges, in the Invercargill District Court. 

When he was apprehended he was found in possession of 0.2g of the class A drug methamphetamine. 

He pleaded guilty to the possession charge on Friday. Judge Turner convicted Veint and sentenced him to six weeks’ jail on the drugs charge. 

He also sentenced him to four weeks’ jail for unpaid fines, to be served cumulatively.

Veint will stand trial on joint charges with Pita Wilson, 38, and Mark Junior Taylor, 17, of assaulting Joseph Armstrong and kidnapping Mr Armstrong, Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston. 

Veint’s mother, Susanne Veint, 49, has been charged with hiding her son from police. 

On November 26, knowing that her son had committed the crime of kidnapping, she helped him avoid arrest, police have alleged.

Otago Daily Times