Offender was ‘out of control’



A Frankton man with more than 50 convictions to his name has been given two more for assaulting a security guard and a policeman outside a concert venue in the Cardrona Valley.

Paul Jason Hartley, 42, was refused entry to a Shapeshifter concert at Robrosa Station on January 16 because he didn’t have a ticket.

As he walked away he kicked over a rubbish bin, and as security staff cleaned up the mess, he went back and punched one guard in the nose, causing it to bleed.

He began walking away again, with security staff following at a distance, but turned around and aggressively approached them with a raised fist.

The victim bear-hugged Hartley to avoid being punched again, while a colleague grabbed the defendant’s legs to restrain him on the ground.

Hartley then bit the victim on the chest, leaving marks.

As police officers moved in to arrest him, Hartley kicked one in the face.

He appeared for sentencing in Queenstown’s court last week, two months after admitting charges of assaulting police and common assault.

His lawyer, Megan McCrostie, said the defendant was remorseful and had a ‘‘willingness to rehabilitate’’.

Although he had a ‘‘history of violent offending’’, he’d come to Queenstown for a fresh  start, and the assaults were the first offences of that type he’d committed in about a decade, she said.

Judge Russell Walker said Hartley had 53 convictions, and was still serving a community work sentence for cannabis cultivation.

His record showed he had the potential for ‘‘an explosive temper and a propensity for violence’’.

Both assaults were aimed at the victims’ heads, and ‘‘unprovoked and completely unwarranted’’, he said.

‘‘In short, you were out of control.’’

On both charges, he convicted Hartley and sentenced him to 12 months’ supervision to enable intervention for addiction issues.

He’s also been ordered to carry out 120 hours’ community work, and pay his security guard victim $250 reparation for emotional harm.

Englishman busted

A working visa holder who sold ecstasy and ketamine to ‘‘make ends meet’’ in Queenstown says he enjoyed the appreciation of his friends for selling them drugs.

Alexander Russell Graham, 28, widely known as Sandy Graham, sold the party drugs in the resort for nearly three years before he was busted by the cops in May.

Employed as a fencer, the Englishman became the subject of a police investigation.

That culminated in a search of his home on May 19.

Officers found $4590 in cash and electronic scales in a bedside cabinet.

Messages between Graham and his customers show he charged them $300 a gram for ecstasy, up to $40 a ‘‘cap’’ (0.1g) for the same drug, and $250 a gram for ketamine.

He offered discounts for bulk purchases of either drug.

Graham’s been living in New Zealand on a working visa since January 2017, mostly in the resort.

Police found evidence he’d been selling drugs since September the following year.

After admitting charges of supplying ecstasy and the sale of ketamine in June, he was
sentenced by Walker in Queenstown’s court last week.

Walker said Graham had carried out voluntary work and taken part in a Salvation Army
‘positive lifestyle’ programme since his arrest.

However, that and his expression of remorse were ‘‘tempered somewhat by the duration of your offending’’.

‘‘This offending has become altogether too common in Queenstown.’’

He was convicted on all charges and sentenced to nine months’ home detention.

Walker also ordered Graham undergo intervention for addiction issues, and banned him from possessing or consuming alcohol or non-prescribed drugs for the duration of the sentence and for six months after it ends