US attacker “beyond remorseful”

An American visitor who rained a flurry of punches on a prone Queenstown man, ruining a post-wedding celebration, will return home after paying $6000 to his victim.

According to Judge Catriona Doyle, Kenton Kollbaum, 32, had taken ‘‘extraordinary steps’’ to put things right since the February 16 assault, and little would be achieved by keeping him in New Zealand on a home detention sentence.

Kollbaum and the victim were drinking in the resort’s CBD after the Gibbston wedding when, after an exchange of words, he knocked the victim to the ground with a punch.

He fell on the victim and struck him 13 more times, then returned to deliver another six blows after breaking free of someone trying to intervene.

The victim suffered extensive bruising, swelling and grazes to his head and upper torso, loosened teeth and suspected concussion.

Kollbaum, who was on a 15-day visit to NZ with his wife for the wedding, was charged with injuring with intent to injure.

In Queenstown’s court this week, counsel Paige Noorland said in the time since, her client had completed 200 hours’ voluntary work for the Salvation Army in Invercargill, and undertaken alcohol and anger management counselling at his own behest.

He was ‘‘beyond remorseful and ashamed’’, and had written letters of apology to the victim and his partner, who witnessed the attack.

He also had $6000 available for emotional harm reparation.

The father of two was the main income earner for his family, Noorland said, and his elongated stay in NZ had put financial strain on his family and his job in jeopardy.

The victim, in his impact statement, said the ‘‘disgusting and inexcusable’’ attack was unprovoked, and Kollbaum deserved no sympathy.

The victim’s partner said seeing him being repeatedly punched as he lay on the ground had left her traumatised, and her normally ‘‘happy, funny and talkative’’ partner was now quiet and depressed.

Doyle told Kollbaum the incident was an ‘‘extraordinary fall from good grace’’ for someone of previous good character.

While he’d normally be subject to a sentence of two and a half months’ home detention, he’d done ‘‘everything in his power’’ to make things right since the assault, and she accepted a submission from Noorland little would be achieved by keeping him away from his family and job any longer.

Convicting him and ordering him to pay reparation, though, shouldn’t be seen as a precedent for foreign nationals to avoid serious consequences for offending, she said.

Headbutt breaks teeth

A Queenstowner broke a bouncer’s teeth a headbutt while on bail for assaulting a 12-year-old boy.

After first victim refused Jason John Bastion, 36, entry to a Church St bar in early on August 6, he pretended to punch another bouncer in the face.

When the victim stepped between them, Bastion headbutted, then ran away.

He was arrested in Geraldine three days later; a search of his vehicle unearthed a bottle amphetamine.

He was charged with injuring with intent and possessing amphetamine — at the time, he was on bail for assaulting the child five months earlier.

In that incident, Bastion was descending the escalator in Queenstown’s Stratton House at the same time as the boy and his sister, whom he knew.

As the boy got off the escalator, the Bastion deliberately stepped on his foot, causing his shoe to come off.

Following a verbal exchange out side, he shoved the boy in the neck, causing him to stumble backwards.

As the boy and his dad went to the cop shop to complain, Bastion made derogatory gestures and shouted ‘‘I never touched your f…ing kid, he’s just a n….r, he shouldn’t even be in this country’’.

Bastion, who’s been in custody since August 9, told cops he assaulted the boy in response to ongoing provocation by the victim and his family.

At Bastion’s sentencing in Queenstown’s court this week, Noorland, his lawyer, said the assault on the boy occurred after the victim made derogatory comments that caused ‘‘something of a snap’’.

Doyle, noting Bastion’s multiple convictions for violence dating to ’09, sentenced him to 17 months’ prison, granting him leave for home detention for time remaining, after accounting for time served.

Manslaughter denied

A Mount Pisa man has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter after a car crash at Arrow Junction that killed Royalburn Station’s head butcher.

Hayden Richard Hurst, 29, pictured,appeared for the first time by audiovisual link in the High Court at Invercargill on Tuesday.

He’s charged in relation to a crash on December 16 near the Crown Range turn-off on State Highway 6 that killed Outrega (Tre) Anderson.

Hurst was originally charged with drink-driving causing death and later an additional charge of drug-impaired driving causing death.

Court documents say Hurst, who was seriously injured in the two-car collision, had a blood-alcohol level of 131mg.

The legal limit’s 50mg.

The defendant was remanded on bail to next appear in June.

A trial date of August 25 next year was set.

Other sentences

● Jack Benjamin Hobden, 23, of Sunshine Bay, aggravated disqualified driving, Lake Hayes-Arrow Junction Highway, October 11, 120 hours’ community work.

● Jack Manasseh Ahaziah Lemuel Stewart Clayton, 22, landscape gardener, of Queenstown, disqualified driving, Churchill St, Kaikōura, March 16, sentence deferred six months, disqualified six months.

● Austin Albers, 30, of Queenstown, drink-driving (117mg), Dee St, Invercargill, January 27, fined $600, medical and analyst fees $274.44, disqualified six months.

● Aaron Reubon Morresey, 25, of New Plymouth, assault with intent to injure, assault, May 25, Queenstown, four months’ home detention, reparation $425.

● Sam Williams, 32, of Frankton, assault in family relationship, threatening behaviour, July 12, Queenstown; unlawfully possessing a firearm, possessing methamphetamine utensils, breaching protection order, July 26, Queenstown, 12 months’ intensive supervision.

- Advertisement -