An extra with your vegetables?
Wanaka police are looking for an older male who placed a vibrator in a display of parsnips in the New World Supermarket on February 3. The person will soon be identified from in-store video footage and is advised to own up to this offensive behaviour.
Wanaka wedding hitch
A 19-year-old Christchurch man who become highly intoxicated and assaulted guests at a wedding in Wanaka on Friday knocked himself out during arrest by headbutting a police car. Constable Peter Reed, of Wanaka, said the drunk man became abusive to guests before assaulting several people and breaking a pair of glasses. Police were called and wedding guests had to restrain the man until police arrived to arrest him. During his arrest the man headbutted the back of a police car, breaking the rear window. He was knocked unconscious and treated by ambulance staff before being taken to the Wanaka police station and charged. Police confirmed yesterday the man was the brother of the groom. The window of the car was yet to be fixed as it had a heating system attached. The man was released on bail on Saturday and was expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court charged with assault and wilful damage. Mr Reed said the incident was a reminder to drink sensibly as it had been obvious alcohol was the main factor in the offending.
Beer fest bash
Two patrons at Saturday’s inaugural Heartland Craft Beer Festival in Queenstown were charged with assault. Sergeant Tracy Haggart, of Queenstown, said a Frankton man, 44, and a woman, 42, of Clyde, were arrested at 6pm. The intoxicated pair were asked to leave but they refused and were aggressive. The man allegedly headbutted security staff and cracked a doorman’s tooth, she said. He was restrained and the woman started swinging punches although the blows did not connect. The man was also charged with using threatening language.
An Irish man drunkenly stumbled into a hotel for a place to sleep and disturbed a group of Chinese students. Sgt Stevens said the man entered a motel on Gorge Rd at 6.20am on Saturday and disturbed a group of Beijing Film Academy students. He was not charged but did write a letter of apology to the victims, she said.
Stock rustling trial: not guilty
Family members burst into tears as a man accused of stealing livestock worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was found not guilty in the Invercargill District Court. Simon Robert Hawkins, of Wanaka, faced 17 charges of theft and two charges of receiving relating to deer, sheep and barley taken from Criffel Deer Farm and Wanaka farmer Grant Cochrane between 2009 and 2011. After a two-week trial before Judge Michael Turner, the jury returned its not guilty verdict last week. Mr Hawkins cried and hugged family members, who were also in tears, after being cleared of the charges. He was jointly charged with Dean Thomas Herd, the former manager of Criffel Deer Farm, who earlier pleaded guilty to all charges and appeared as a Crown witness during the trial.
Fatal crash accused dies
A Cromwell man who was charged after a fatal two-car crash has died. Max James Birtles, 63, died on January 27 after a long illness. Mr Birtles was involved in a crash on State Highway 8 near Butchers dam, Central Otago, on July 29. He was the driver of a Holden fourwheel-drive vehicle that was involved in a head-on collision with a Toyota Caldina stationwagon. The driver of the Toyota, United States national Kirra Lee Smith, 23, was killed instantly. Mr Birtles was charged with careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury but had planned to defend the charges. However, court proceedings were stayed on medical grounds when the case was heard before Judge Stephen Coyle in the Dunedin District Court in December.
Taxi driver robbed
A Queenstown taxi driver was injured during an attack by three men who stole hundreds of dollars, police say. The Green Cabs driver was robbed of $700 during the incident in Memorial St at 3.30am last Wednesday. He suffered minor injuries. Detective Matt Jones said the 24-year-old victim picked up a male passenger in central Queenstown and drove him to the Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park. When they arrived, the passenger said he was unable to pay. The driver drove to Memorial St beside the Recreation Ground after his passenger said he was meeting a friend to borrow some money. The passenger went to use a public toilet. When he failed to return the driver went looking for him on foot, but was attacked and allegedly robbed by the passenger and two other men. Two of the men removed a cash box containing $700 from the taxi. Mr Jones appealed for anyone who noticed suspicious activity in the area of the attack, around Robins Rd and Gorge Rd, to contact police. He said police were interested in sightings of a white car. Police in Queenstown can be reached on 03 441 1600 or information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Scrutiny: A scene examination at Memorial St, in Queenstown.