Birthday hijinks end in injury, court
Young defendant receives 18 months community detention
Airgun accused ‘lost a good friend’
Alexandra labourer Anthony McLellan, 18, who shot his friend in the leg with an airgun, plead guilty to causing bodily injury by carelessly using a firearm and discharging the airgun with a reckless disregard for the safety of others on July 26. McLellan’s lawyer, Tim Cadogan, told the court how McLellan had bought the airgun for his birthday and had spent the day at a hotel drinking with friends, including the victim, becoming ‘‘grossly intoxicated’’. He had not purposely aimed the gun at the victim, Mr Cadogan said. ‘‘He has lost a good friend . . . he has accepted it is his own fault . . . It shows how stupid and pointless this whole episode was. ‘‘The defendant was celebrating his 18th birthday and got himself drunk and, for some unknown reason, got the gun and started firing.’’ Judge Fred McElrea sentenced McLellan to four months’ community detention with a daily curfew of 8pm to 6am, 150 hours’ community work, eight months’ supervision and ordered payment of $1250 reparation.
Legal highs causing problems
Legal highs were to blame for a young offender whose crimes ‘‘avalanched’’, lawyer Kieran Tohill said. Adam David Low, 23, pleaded guilty to three theft charges, including stealing more than $11,000 of jewellery, some family heirlooms, from his friend’s mother. The court was told how Low went to his friend’s home in Alexandra, where he lived with his mother between October 19 and November 11, 2012, and stole jewellery from the mother’s bedroom. He sold the items to buyers in Dunedin. He was also convicted for stealing gold-bearing sand belonging to Southern Earthworks Ltd between May 9 and August 26 while working for the company. He was also charged with receiving stolen tools valued at about $400 on or about April 3, 2012. He was remanded on the three charges until December 3.
Assault on a woman and biting
A Saudi Arabian trainee air traffic controller got drunk, assaulted a woman on a dancefloor then bit a bouncer, the Queenstown District Court was told on Monday. Meshal Mohammed Alwaal, 22, of Palmerston North, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips and entered guilty pleas to indecent assault and assault with intent to injure on August 11. Sergeant Ian Collin said the student was in Skybar dancing with others at the same time as another group that included the female victim. He tried to dance with the group but was asked to leave but he stepped in, pulled the victim towards him and forced his tongue into her mouth. Another member of the group struck Alwaal, who grabbed the woman and refused to let go or leave when a door man arrived. Staff had to remove Alwaal, who struggled and bit a bouncer’s bicep, leaving teeth marks and drawing blood. He was remanded on bail for sentence in Invercargill District Court on November 4.
Assault with intent to use weapon
Tyson Allan William Sunderland, 18, of Lake Hawea, was remanded for sentence on November 18 for assault with intent to injure, assault and possessing an offensive weapon that, prima facie, showed an intention to use it to cause bodily injury on September 6. He was involved in a group assault on two sets of victims in Wanaka.
Assault and disorderly behaviour
Clinton James Hepi, 41, of Fernhill, was remanded on bail for sentence on November 19 for assault and disorderly behaviour that was likely in the circumstances to cause violence against persons to start on September 21.
Drink-driving causing injury
Christopher Philip Duffield, 25, bouncer, was sentenced to three months’ home detention, 125 hours’ community work, disqualified from driving for 13 months and ordered to pay $3600 reparation for causing bodily injury while driving with a blood alcohol level of 135mg on June 21. The court was told he decided to drive from his home to town for food but lost control on a moderate bend and crashed down a bank where the vehicle rolled. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat and suffered serious injuries, including a fractured knee, cracked ribs and a broken pelvis. Judge Phillips said it was luck that no-one was killed, and the public needed to be aware that the court considered the offending sternly.
Aussie tourists fined
Australian tourists who offended in New Zealand could expect to have each case dealt with on merit after another visitor was fined for assault in Queenstown, the judge said. Ryan Neil Brown, 25, of Perth, was ordered to pay $3000 emotional harm reparation for assault and robbing a man’s $600 Samsung phone on September 21. Judge Phillips referred to recent cases in which Aussie visitors were fined because of the likely cost to the taxpayer of footing the bill for home detention or jail. Brown, an accountant, was talking about ‘‘MI6’’ involvement when he snatched a mobile phone, the court was told. He struck a man from behind and aggressively asked for the phone, telling the owner that he was going to kill him. The victim and a bystander then chased the robber towards the Memorial Hall and confronted him but he reacted aggressively, pushed them and then threw the phone. The judge said there seemed to be a pattern of people fronting up with money but this was not going to happen again.