Two convictions in five days

A Queenstown builder was caught drink-driving twice in five days — the second time on The Remarks skifield road in an unplated vehicle.

When Samuel James Allen Sands, 23, was stopped by police at the bottom of the road on September 10, he jumped into the back seat to try and avoid responsibility.

The September 5 and 10 incidents represent the second and third drink-driving convictions for Sands in a 12-month period.

In Queenstown’s court this week, prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said Sands was caught drink-driving in the resort’s CBD on September 5 — a blood test returned a result of 98 milligrams, almost twice the legal limit.

His vehicle’s rego, under his father’s name, had also been unpaid for two years.

Despite being suspended for 28 days, on September 10 cops caught him behind the wheel of the now unplated car at the bottom of the access road.

When police stopped him, Sands jumped into a back seat.

A breath test gave a result of 569mcg — more than twice the legal limit.

He claimed he was driving because a sober driver had been concussed on the skifield.

He was sentenced to two months’ community detention, nine months’ supervision and disqualified for 28 days, with alcohol interlock provisions.

He’s also been ordered to pay $111.25 medical and analyst fees.

Domestic assaults

A resort woman ‘‘lived in fear’’ of the next assault by her partner for nearly a year, police say.

Her now ex, bar manager Gavin James Dron, 35, narrowly avoided prison for a slew of charges arising from their 11-month relationship at his sentencing this week.

The police summary of facts describes a series of assaults between December 20, 2020, and November 24, 2021.

On at least two occasions he impeded her breathing.

During one of those incidents the pair were walking home after drinking in Queenstown’s CBD when they began arguing.

He threw her takeaway meal onto the footpath, and when she remonstrated with him, grabbed her neck and pushed her face-first into a fence, impeding her breathing until passers-by intervened.

On November 6, 2021, he punched her in the face while they were in her bedroom.

She fell to the floor.

A witness saw her run out of the house, screaming ‘‘leave me alone’’ as Dron chased her.

Other arguments led to violence in which he pushed or grabbed her, and on several occasions her flatmates stepped in to protect her.

The victim often suffered bruising she would cover with make-up, and voice issues from the strangulations.

Dron told police he knew the relationship was unhealthy, but he loved the victim and was unsure why he didn’t leave her alone when things became violent.

Counsel Jono Ross said Dron was having counselling to deal with his anger issues, and had resumed taking medication.

Dron accepted an earlier sentence indication, admitting two charges of strangulation, five of assault in a family relationship and one each of assault with intent to injure and threatening behaviour.

The end sentence of 11 months’ home detention took into account mitigating factors like his guilty pleas, willingness to engage in restorative justice and payments he’d made to Women’s Refuge.

Walker also ordered Dron to pay the victim $1000 reparation for emotional harm, and made a protection order in her favour.

Other convictions

● Riki Henderson, 38, of Shotover Country, drink-driving (658mcg), Stewart Street, November 21, fined $700, disqualified six months.

● Kieran Rhys Tipu, 28, of Lake Hayes Estate, drink-driving (84mg), Quarry Road, Mosgiel, November 10, fined $400, medical and analyst fees $111.25, six-month driving ban.

● Catherine Louise Crangle, 49, of Arrowtown, drink-driving (233mg), Ramshaw Lane, August 31, 12 months’ supervision, disqualified 12 months, reparation $5000.

● Junior Atoni, 33, of Fernhill, drink-driving (590mcg), Lake Esplanade, June 4; suspended driving, Robins Rd, June 29, 155 hours’ community work, disqualified 28 days, alcohol interlock provisions.

[email protected]

- Advertisement -