Woman who smuggled drugs in bra pleads guilty

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A Christchurch woman who was pinged by a metal detector at Queenstown Airport after stashing tin foil-covered cannabis bullets stashed inside her bra has pleaded guilty. 

Te Arohanui Tihema, 52, appeared in Queenstown District Court today (Monday) for possessing cannabis for supply after she was caught with 50 grams of dry cannabis concealed in her lingerie. 

The shed hand was collared when trying to board a flight from the resort to Christchurch with the drugs down her top on April 17. 

Tihema will be sentenced in the Rangiora District Court on July 27.

Boozed building inspector

A Lakes Environmental contractor who drove through a police checkpoint at 70km per hour has lost his licence for more than a year. 

Building inspector Jeffery Hodge got boozed at a friend’s leaving party on June 3, hopped in his car to drive home and hit another vehicle, Queenstown District Court heard. 

The car owner saw the accident and tried to stop intoxicated Hodge from driving by turning off his engine, threatening to call the cops and standing in the vehicle’s way. 

But while the bystander was calling the police, the Englishman drove off down Frankton Road where an alcohol checkpoint was in place. 

Police officers had to quickly get out of the way when Hodge drove straight through the stop at high speed. 

A kilometre down the road Hodge, from Lake Hayes Estate, eventually pulled over after being chased by a police vehicle. 

Hodge’s lawyer claimed that his client – who is “absolutely appalled at his behaviour that night” – couldn’t recall the checkpoint and waited until he could safely pull over before stopping. 

Hodge, a family man with two young children, has never been in trouble with the police before, the lawyer said. 

However, Judge Phillips was shocked when presented with a letter from Queenstown District Council’s regulatory body Lakes Environmental outlining Hodge’s good character. 

“Here, I hear how you’re a committed family man…well I question all that. What about the police officers you nearly ran over?” 

Hodge was fined $800 for drink-driving and disqualified from driving for 10 months. He was also fined $300 for dangerous driving and disqualified for six months, and was disqualified for three months for failing to stop plus court costs for each charge. 

“You should consider yourself lucky you’re not going down to the cells,” Judge Phillips warned. 

Pilot’s not guilty pleas

A Pacific Blue pilot facing charges for allegedly flying a plane from Queenstown at twilight has pleaded not guilty. 

The pilot from Papakura, who was granted interim name suppression, will appear on July 11 on charges by the Civil Aviation Authority of operating a Boeing 737 in a manner that caused unnecessary danger to passengers, and operating the same aircraft in a careless manner.

Cannabis thief assaulted

An Arrowtown truck driver who hit a teenager for stealing his cannabis will do a stint serving the community. 

Cyril Cracknell, 46, pleaded guilty to assaulting 15-year-old Thomas Speight, who stole cannabis from Cracknell.
Cracknell retrieved the stolen drugs from Thomas – who is at school with Cracknell’s son – but returned days later to demand payment from Thomas for some missing cannabis. 

“He smacked him in the face because he was angry because the victim had a smart mouth,” sergeant Ian Collin said. 

Judge Phillips said the background to the assault was “alarming” since the victim was a “streetwise 15-year-old”. 

“He stole a small amount of your cannabis…six days later you went to the home and demanded money. The victim was punched with a closed fist in the mouth area and received a small cut.” 

Despite an “alarming” past history, Cracknell’s saving grace was having no prior matters involving violence, Judge Phillips said. 

“You offend again in a violent way Mr Cracknell and you will go to prison,” Judge Phillip warned. 

Cracknell received 100 hours community work and was ordered to pay emotional harm reparation of $300 to Thomas.

Stoned tourist undesirable

A Brazilian tourist collared for smoking cannabis and possession of utensils is not wanted in New Zealand, Judge Phillips said. 

Judge Phillips told Gabriel Steinbruch: “If I had my way you would go home today – we don’t want your kind of people here at all.” 

The 22-year-old offender, who was originally pulled over by police because of his dodgy driving, was sentenced to 40 hours’ community work.

Car confiscated

A drunk Glenorchy man who reported his car had been stolen and was then was caught driving it has had the vehicle confiscated. 

Benjamin Douglas, 25, was yesterday ordered to hand over his 1987 Toyota car to the Queenstown District Court, must complete 140 hours community work and was disqualified for a year for driving on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road with reading of 883 micrograms of alcohol in his system. 

“You were so drunk you didn’t know where your car was, make false complaint of theft and are then later found driving it,” Judge Phillips said to the carpenter. 

“Were there any sober drivers around here over the weekend?” Judge Phillips also asked.

Fire drill assault

A Dux de Lux patron has pleaded guilty to assaulting a barmaid who asked him to leave his beer on the premises during a fire drill. 

Te Haiana Hughes, 53, of Fernhill, grabbed Jasmine Powell’s shirt after she asked him to stop drinking on the street after the bar was evacuated. 

Members of the public intervened and pulled Hughes, a driver, away from Powell. 

Hughes then assaulted another customer Stefan Pauseh, the court heard. 

He has been remanded on bail until sentencing in August.