Prison for wannabe samurai


A Frankton man who threatened a team of arborists with a samurai sword last month has been jailed for 17 months.

Jason John Bastion, 32, was arrested by armed police on January 29 after threatening the arborists outside the entrance to the Frankton Motor Camp.

A witness told the Otago Daily Times Bastion came out of a caravan on Yewlett Crescent shouting “shut the f*** up” at the council contractors, who were using chainsaws.

Appearing before Judge John Brandts-Giesen in Queenstown’s court by audiovisual link from prison this week, Bastion admitted charges of possessing an offensive weapon, and threatening to injure with intent to frighten.

His lawyer, Tanya Surrey, said he was “exhausted and under personal pressure”.

But it wasn’t his only recent tangle with the law; on July 13 last year, three months after getting out of prison, he assaulted a man outside 1876 bar on Ballarat St, got in his car and led police on a 5km pursuit back to Yewlett Cres.

He admitted charges stemming from those incidents: assaulting Matthew Dale Winter, driving while disqualified (fourth conviction), dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

For possessing the sword, threatening to injure with intent to frighten and the assault, he got 17 months’ prison.

For the other charges, he got three months’ prison, to be served concurrently, and was disqualified for 15 months.

His fines owing of $16,000, including $3500 reparation, were remitted in exchange for an additional week in prison.

Didn’t check age

A Queenstown beauty salon owner has become the first person in New Zealand to be successfully prosecuted for providing sunbed tanning services to a person under 18.

Elysium Beauty Therapy owner Lydia Louise McCarthy didn’t appear for her sentencing for breaching the two-year-old Health Act regulations.

A 17-year-old female requested a sunbed tanning service when she visited the salon, then located on the second floor of O’Connells shopping centre, on July 15 last year as part of a Ministry of Health sting.

McCarthy didn’t ask the teenager’s age or for proof-of-age ID.

When an enforcement officer visited the premises the same day, McCarthy said she only asked for proof of age if a customer appeared to be under 18.

She told the officer “I have no excuse – clearly I should have checked”.

Crown prosecutor Mike Brownlie told the court sunbeds expose users to higher levels of dangerous UV radiation than the sun, and increased the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Epidemiological studies show the risk of melanoma is increased by 75 per cent when sunbeds are used before the age of 30, and they increase the risk of melanoma by 20 per cent overall.

Brandts-Giesen said she’d acted “carelessly” by failing to check the customer’s age, and by not having a consent form for her to sign.

After a 25 per cent reduction for her guilty plea, he sentenced McCarthy to a $600 fine, prosecution costs of $130 and court costs of $130.

McCarthy made no comment when contacted.

Threatened mum

A resort man threatened to kill an Arthurs Point woman while she was holding her one-year-son in her arms after she confronted him and his friends about disturbing the neighbourhood.

Leyland Te One Rapata-Brookland, 19, a concrete worker, was doing burnouts with a bunch of mates on a property near the victim’s home on December 1.

Fed up by the noise, smell and smoke, the victim asked them to stop, prompting Rapata-Brookland to yell at her, and threaten to kill her and friends.

He continued yelling threats to the victim over a fence, even as his some of mates tried to restrain him.

Rapata-Brookland admitted a charge of threatening to kill.

Brandts-Giesen told him scientific studies might show the male brain didn’t fully develop until the age of 25, but “quite frankly, young men can’t hide behind that forever”.

Rapata-Brookland got nine months’ supervision, which will allow intervention for alcohol and “self-control” issues, and 100 hours’ community work.