Grant brothers stung
Two brothers entered guilty pleas to serious biosecurity breaches after scorpions were smuggled into Queenstown from Australia. James Alexander Grant, 24, electrician of Arrowtown and his brother Matthew Stuart Grant, 23, builder, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Queenstown District Court charged with, respectively, possession and disposal of scorpions and possession and sale of scorpions. Two others, Iszac William Walters, 23, and a fourth man, faced charges of breaching the Biosecurity Act after six Black Rock scorpions were smuggled from Australia through Christchurch Airport and then into Queenstown. The brothers were convicted and remanded for sentence on November 18 while Walters will be sentenced in Christchurch on December 11.
Samuel James Corson, 21, of Fernhill was convicted and remanded on bail when he appeared in the Queenstown District Court for injuring with reckless disregard for the safety of others on July 14. The judge called for a pre-sentence report to include home detention as an option but said this was no indication of the outcome. ‘‘Jail is the starting point; it’s for the judge on the day to determine if it’s also an end point,’’ he said. The court was told Corson twice punched the victim, who did not know Corson, on the dance floor of SkyBar. The victim suffered multiple fractures, including a broken eye socket, a broken nose and collapsed sinus and needed surgery to insert three metal plates in his face. He was remanded on bail for sentence on November 18.
Assault with a weapon
Chloe Joy Hogg, 21, of Fernhill, was sentenced to 10 weeks’ community detention, 80 hours’ community work and nine months’ supervision when she appeared for sentence for assault with a weapon on June 21. The court was told she threw a bottle, hitting the victim in the head, then threw a burning candle causing hot wax to spill on his face and clothing. ‘‘This was an unprovoked assault and you are fortunate that no injury was sustained,’’ Judge Turner said. Jemmah Lizanne Shelling, 22, of Fernhill, was sentenced to six months’ supervision and ordered to pay $600 emotional harm reparation for three counts of assault, July 6. She assaulted two men in a bar and a third outside the premises, punching, scratching and lashing out at the victims’ heads, faces and necks, the court was told. Judge Turner said the assaults were unprovoked and he was not satisfied Shelling fully accepted responsibility for her behaviour. A conviction would not necessarily preclude her from employment in other countries and an application for a discharge without conviction was declined.
Two more of Gore’s finest
Two Gore men were arrested for burglary after breaking into a bar to score more booze. Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said the two men, aged 22 and 23, had been drinking at a backpackers’ hostel on Saturday night when they ran out of alcohol. The two men then broke into a neighbouring bar and stole a 30 litre keg of beer, vodka and energy drinks. In the process, they were spotted by the bar’s manager, who called police.
Put down the phone
Texting while on a plane descending to land at Queenstown airport got a 31-year-old Alexandra man arrested upon landing.
An Invercargill man was arrested for disorderly conduct after scuffling with his brother-in-law at Gorge Road in the early hours of Sunday morning.
An intoxicated Australian who fell asleep in a taxi and couldn’t be woken by the driver was eventually dropped off at the Queenstown police station, where he spent the remainder of his Saturday night. A ‘‘grossly intoxicated’’ 21-year-old New Zealand woman living in Queenstown also got the same treatment on Monday morning. She was ‘‘arrested for her own good’’ and kept in police cells after being found wandering Panorama Terrace around 6am. She was covered in mud and ‘‘lost and confused’’, Senior Constable Chris Blackford said.
Taxi driver assaults
A summons to appear in court on assault charges was issued to a 72-year-old taxi driver on Friday. The alleged assault appeared to have been committed in August, and was allegedly committed on a passenger the driver took in his taxi. Meanwhile, a taxi driver assaulted by a 25-year-old Australian man on Thursday night received a cut to the inside of his lip. The Australian was held in police custody overnight but released with a pre charge warning on Friday, which was also the day he left New Zealand.
Drunk as, son
An extremely intoxicated 14-year- old found wondering on Cow Lane on Thursday night was taken into police custody. He was kept at the station until a family member was able to be contacted and was collected that night.
Crime figures decrease
Recorded crime in Queenstown and Central Otago fell slightly in the past year although there were more public disorder and sexual assaults, the latest police figures show. The Otago rural region, which covers Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Waitaki district, had a 2.3 per cent decrease in crime rates for the 12 months to the end of June. Overall, the number of offences was 4706, down from 4800. Burglary offences fell by 7 per cent, theftrelated offending reduced by 9 per cent but public order increased by 5 per cent.
Cromwell police are interviewing for a new watch house officer and hope to fill the position soon. Sergeant Simon Paget said he appreciated the front counter’s sporadic opening was an inconvenience and police appreciated people’s patience.
Sting in the tail: A Black Rock scorpion.