‘Thoroughly dishonest person’ jailed

The deportation of a Frenchman responsible for a string of dishonesty offences in Queenstown last year will ‘‘reduce the criminal element in this town by one’’, a judge says.

Judge David Ruth made the comments in Queenstown’s court this week as he sentenced Pierre-Marie Julien Giffard to 19 months’ prison.

Police say the 31-year-old asked several people for money in early August to pay for bond and rent for a rental property he’d arranged.

He failed to return the money when the rental fell through.

Giffard asked other people for loans, promising to pay them back by the end of the month, but didn’t.

On September 20, he went into a central Queenstown bar’s office, where he worked, and stole $1400 in cash from the safe.

Then, on November 2, he asked a flatmate for a $200 loan to help pay the cost of surgery for a tapeworm infection.

Two days after the flatmate transferred the money, Giffard suddenly moved out of the house without paying back the victim.

Between November 9 and 16, he stayed at an unoccupied holiday home property in Lake Ave, Frankton, sleeping in a caravan parked in the driveway.

While there, he broke into the house and stole a TV.

When the homeowner and his wife arrived on November 16, they found Giffard inside.

He told them he’d only gone inside to charge his phone, and was ‘‘sleeping rough’’.

Giffard initially denied taking the TV, and claimed he was given permission to stay in the caravan by a man who’d been doing security checks at the property.

However, he admitted six charges of obtaining money by deception — totalling $3430 — two charges of burglary and one of interfering with a caravan.

Counsel Tanya Surrey said the offending was motivated by ‘‘homelessness and financial deprivation’’.

She asked for a non-custodial sentence, at the end of which the defendant would be deported.

He’d been forced to spend the past six months in prison because he had no visa to stay in the country.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said Giffard’s claims of financial deprivation didn’t hold up because he had a job for much of the period of his offending.

He’d abused his position of trust with his employer, and fabricated a story about surgery for a medical condition he didn’t have.

There was an ‘‘element of distastefulness’’ in the offending because it was clear the defendant never intended to pay back his victims, Collin

Ruth said the defendant told the author of his pre-sentence report a relationship breakdown affected his decision-making ability and he’d ‘‘lost his mind’’.

He noted he had no previous convictions in New Zealand or France.

‘‘You’ve certainly taken a large leap in criminal offending.’’

He told Giffard he was a ‘‘thoroughly dishonest person’’ who had preyed on the good nature and altruism of his victims.

‘‘You never intended to pay anybody a single cent.’’

Cocaine ‘middle man’

A Brit caught dealing coke in Queenstown will be kicked out of the country after completing a home detention sentence.

Connor Anthony Young’s offending was discovered inadvertently when cops seized his phone while executing a search warrant on another

They say the 29-year-old took orders for the Class A drug from mates through WhatsApp.

Between April 18 and October 3 last year, Young bought a total of 107g of cocaine from an associate in 36 transactions.

He then split the drug into one-gram bags before supplying it to friends for cash.

After his arrest he told police most of the cocaine — which has a street value of around $40,000 — was for his own use.

At his sentencing on a single cocaine supply charge in Queenstown’s court this week, his lawyer Megan Waller said the defendant had been a
weekly user of the drug.

He’d downplayed his addiction during his interview for a pre-sentence report, but there’d been a ‘‘level of addiction’’ that contributed to the

She asked for a home detention sentence that would enable him to continue addressing the issue.

He’d lived in the resort for two years, had a partner and a ‘‘really good job’’.

Being deported would be ‘‘significantly punitive in itself’’.

Ruth said Young had been a heavy drinker and cannabis user from a young age, and started using cocaine from the age of 19.

He moved to New Zealand four years ago, but hadn’t been a regular cocaine user until he moved to Queenstown, where he found
it easy to access.

He’d become the ‘‘middle man’’ for an associate who was reticent about dealing with multiple customers, Ruth said.

Young claimed he bought the drug only for himself and mates, and didn’t make money from sales.

Young had one previous conviction in NZ, which was for drink-driving with a ‘‘very high’’ alcohol level in 2020.

Ruth landed on a 23-month prison sentence, which he converted to 11 months’ home detention, and also ordered Young to attend a
drug and alcohol addiction programme.

Other sentences

● Sasha Elan Smith, 21, DJ, of Queenstown, supplying ecstasy, August 23-November 23; possessing psilocybin, November 23, five months’ community detention.
● Joshua Remco Vis, 30, of Arrowtown, disqualified driving, March 24, Arrowtown; breaching community work, fined $300, disqualified six months.
● Kobe John Townsend, 20, of Lake Hayes Estate, assaulting police, resisting police, disorderly behaviour, December 16, Queenstown, discharged without conviction.
● Mason Luke Patterson, 24, builder, of Kawarau Falls, assault, theft (phone), January 13, Queenstown, reparation $1300, emotional harm
reparation $300.
● Commadore Ronald McCreadie, 41, of Hanley’s Farm, threatening behaviour, August 13, Frankton; breaching community detention, August 12, 80 hours’ community work, emotional harm reparation $400.

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