Most walk free after sentences reduced
Arrowtown drug bashing counts scaled down Keeping history alive in charming Arrowtown
Convictions against two Queenstown men involved in a violent group assault and kidnapping have been quashed and substituted in the Appeal Court. Last year in the Queenstown District Court, Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Brodie O’Rourke, 26, and Michael Phillip Coulter, 25, to jail for their part in an assault near Arrowtown after a nightclub drug-deal went awry. O’Rourke’s conviction for aggravated wounding was quashed and substituted with a conviction for wounding with intent to injure. His sentence of three years and three months’ jail was reduced to two years and three months’ jail. Coulter’s conviction for aggravated wounding was also quashed and substituted with wounding with intent to injure. His sentence of three years’ jail was reduced to one year and nine months’ jail. Coulter had already served 15 months of his sentence and because his reduced sentence was less than two years he was immediately released on the day of the appeal. Last month, O’Rourke, who was sentenced to 12 months’ concurrent jail for kidnap, appeared for his first New Zealand Parole Board hearing and was denied parole. The substituted sentence may alter his parole applicability and he could apply to be seen before the next scheduled appearance in June. Other defendants convicted or charged in relation to the offending have had changes to their initial sentences or charges dropped. Samuel Gordon Coupe, 28, was sentenced to two years and nine months’ jail for wounding with intent to commit a theft by violent means. He was discharged on a charge of kidnap. However, Justice Christian Whata allowed an appeal, reduced Coupe’s charge to wounding with intent to injure and reduced his sentence to one year and nine months’ jail. He has served his sentence. After Coupe’s successful appeal, other members of the group followed suit. Jonathan Charles Burke, 27, was sentenced to two years and two months’ jail for wounding with intent to commit a theft by violent means. Justice Ronald Young, in the High Court in Invercargill, quashed that jail sentence last year, his conviction was reduced to wounding with intent to injure and a sentence of four months’ home detention was substituted. Daniel John Kissell was sentenced to eight months’ home detention and 300 hours’ community work for wounding with intent to commit theft. His conviction was also substituted for one of wounding with intent to injure. Teenagers Brooke Sylvia Carpenter and Charlotte Amelia Spencer Dickson were each discharged at Invercargill District Court in December on charges of aggravated wounding. Ms Carpenter was also discharged on a charge of kidnapping. Rachel Maree Faul, 22, was also discharged on a charge of aggravated wounding but still faces charges of kidnapping, reckless driving on November 26, 2011, and a separate drug supply charge from November 25. She is awaiting trial. The offending related to a drug deal gone wrong and a group assault on a man and woman at the Crown Range intersection. A Dunedin woman with strong Arrowtown ties and a love of history has spent a year documenting the historic cottages of Arrowtown in pencil. Dianne Souness released her book Historic Cottages of Arrowtown earlier this year, featuring 37 existing cottages and accompanying anecdotes. She grew up having holidays in Arrowtown, staying in many of the cottages while her parents built their own house. Later she moved there with her young family and spent the next 24 years living in the town. While living in Arrowtown Mrs Souness spent time working at the museum and remembered the portraits. However, she did not do a lot of drawing. ‘‘It was a leisurely life of picnics every day at the river and gardening. Here (in Dunedin) I don’t have that and I picked I up again and I’m enjoying it.’’ The book took a year to complete with about one week spent on each cottage. The information about each cottage came from the Lakes District Museum archives and from local statesman Jack Reid who was either related to someone at almost every cottage or knew them. In the future she hoped to have an exhibition at the museum. ● Historic Cottages of Arrowtown is available from Lakes District Museum.
History: Pittaway Cottage at 69 Buckingham St is one of 37 Arrowtown cottages documented by artist Dianne Souness in her bookHistoric Cottagesof Arrowtown.