Flood couple ordered to pay $3500
Backpackers pay flood excess
Two British backpackers who caused a $60,000 insurance claim in Queenstown were ordered to pay excesses to flooded businesses. Gregory Day, 24, and Kim Noar, 23, plead guilty to joint charges of intentionally damaging the Nomads backpackers sprinkler system on Valentines Day when they appeared before Judge Michael Turner in Queenstown District Court. They were ordered to pay the overall excess of $3500 for the businesses that flooded when, while dancing on a kitchen table at 4.15am, they decided to swing on a pipe, which burst and flooded Nomads, Devil Burger, Cup & Cake, Below Zero Ice Bar, Cowboys and a convenience store. The insurance claim so far was $60,000, the court was told. Lawyer Sonia Vidal said the defendants fully cooperated and personally apologised to each of the businesses. ‘‘They are very remorseful for their actions and had no appreciation that their foolishness would cause such a wide extent of damage.’’ Judge Turner said their actions were not deliberate but they were reckless. ‘‘It’s an unfortunate end to your holiday in this country.’’ Several flooded businesses opened late or closed on Valentines Day, one of the busiest days of the year for Queenstown retail stores. Day and Noar left New Zealand this week but the court was told the insurance companies could pursue them in a civil liability claim.
Undercover bust dealer convicted
A plasterer ’’heavily involved’’ in drug dealing in Wanaka was convicted and remanded in custody for sentence in April. Daniel Miller, 30, appeared for sentence for cannabis, ecstasy and LSD offending on dates between August 1 and October 18 last year. He was one of eight people arrested as part of an undercover police bust dubbed Operation Viking. Miller entered guilty pleas to 27 charges: 19 counts of supplying or selling cannabis, procuring Ritalin, two counts of conspiring to supply cannabis, two charges of supplying or selling ecstasy and three charges of offering to supply LSD on dates between August 1 and October 18. A summary of facts said Miller was one of several people targeted by undercover police in Wanaka during late 2012 and last year, which included electronic interception of phone calls and text messages. Sergeant Ian Collin said undercover officers bought drugs directly from people in Wanaka and police recovered hundreds of LSD tabs and a large quantity of ecstasy. Miller, who refused to answer questions when arrested, was heavily involved in the supply of controlled drugs in Wanaka, he said. Text messages recovered from his phone detailed occasions when he offered to source or sell drugs and in one protracted text exchange in late September and early October he conspired to supply cannabis and LSD. Lawyer Mike Newell said his client was a street-level dealer and was not involved in the supply of drugs to other dealers. The largest quantity of cannabis sold was one ounce (28g) and the ecstasy and LSD deals were limited to small amounts and supply among friends or acquaintances. ’’It’s not a situation where he is high up the chain supplying other dealers. Some of the texts even show he was trying to get out.’’ Judge Turner refused bail and remanded Miller in custody for sentence on April 7.
Blackmailer gets home detention
Queenstown woman who falsely accused a man of rape after he slept with her sister was sentenced to nine months’ home detention for blackmail. Moetahi Walker, 27, masseuse, (pictured) appeared for sentence for expressly threatening to make an accusation with intent to cause the victim to act to obtain a benefit, namely $6000, on December 19. Judge Turner said blackmail was an insidious and abhorrent crime. ‘‘If you genuinely thought your sister was unlawfully taken advantage of then you would have gone to the police but you saw this as an opportunity to try and extort some money out of a visitor to this country.’’ Lawyer Mike Newell argued for home detention after a Crown submission in favour of a starting point of two and a half years in jail. A summary of facts said a 39-year-old Turkish man, a taxi driver, had consensual sex with Walker’s 18-year-old sister then drove her home. The teenager had a sheet wrapped around her waist and was questioned by her older sibling, who formed the opinion the victim’s actions amounted to rape. She sent a text message pretending to be her sister and told the victim she wanted to meet at a house in Man St. When he arrived she took digital photos of his face, yelled at him and accused him of rape. He left and 15 minutes later received a text message asking him to return. Walker got into his car and drove to Thompson St, where she told him there were two ways to deal with the situation – either he went to jail and was deported or he could pay $6000 compensation. He told her he did not have that kind of money and she suggested he paid $200 a week, with the first payment starting on Christmas Day. During the next few days, she sent texts reminding him of the meeting but he did not reply. Eventually he sent a message saying she was the criminal, he was not going to pay and to go to the police. She then rang 111 and reported a rape. The court was told he lost his job as a taxi driver and had left New Zealand.
Queenstown police need the public’s help to gather information about an alleged robbery and assault of a taxi driver. A Green Cabs driver was allegedly assaulted by three men about 3.20am on February 5 after driving a male to the Queenstown recreation grounds. The driver drove to Memorial St beside the recreation ground after his passenger said he was meeting a friend to borrow money to pay the fare. 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 then took a cash box containing about $700 in cash from the taxi. Police want to talk to a man who received a telephone call about 3.15am and met the passenger in the taxi at the Man St entrance to the Queenstown Lakes View Holiday Park. Police believe the man, described as Caucasian, of thin build, 175 centimetres tall and having curly, dark, shoulder-length hair, lives in the holiday park. He was wearing a white T-shirt and half-length trousers. Police are also keen to talk to a woman who used the taxi driver’s cellphone to call Green Cabs at 4.32am, and a man described as a Maori or Polynesian, aged 20-25 years, of solid build and about 172cm in height. He had a slight limp. Two other men are also being sought by police. One was muscular, with olive or dark skin, aged 25-30, 182cm tall with short, shaven hair and some facial hair. He had numbers on the back of his right hand. The other man was a Maori or Polynesian, aged about 20, about 172cm tall and of average build. Anyone with information can contact Queenstown police on 03 441 1600 or Crimestoppers on 0800 55511.
Riiria Jade Tatana, 33, baker, of Wanaka, was convicted and remanded for sentence on March 24 for stealing a Telecom New Zealand cellphone, on July 15 last year, and knowingly using a forged New Zealand driver’s licence, between November 1 and January 22 when she appeared in Queenstown District Court this week. The court was told she travelled to Bangkok where she had arranged for a custom-made fake New Zealand driver’s licence. The licence was misplaced and handed in to Wanaka Police Station.
Using a telephone
Geoffrey Matthew Hamilton, 71, of Hensman Rd, was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months for using a telephone threateningly, December 13.
Sarah Tamara Geck, 23, German national, was fined $200 for stealing grocery items from Fresh Choice valued at $42.46 on February 1.
Manish Nadan, 18, stonemason, of Fernhill, was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months for trespassing after being warned to leave on February 6.
Marcus Philip Jones, 21, of Arthurs Pt, UK national, was fined $1450 and disqualified for 12 months for driving with an excess blood alcohol level of 181mg and careless use of a vehicle on December 26. Sonja Carnier, 43, of Fernhill, was fined $1200 and disqualified for nine months for driving with an excess blood alcohol level of 180mg on December 26. Jack Hardison Wright, 23, US national, was fined $530 and disqualified for six months for driving with an excess breath alcohol level of 527mcg on February 20. Joel Vincent Climo, 19, of Lake Hayes Estate, was fined $370 and disqualified for three months, 377mcg, February 22. Paula Marie Lambert, 45, of Wanaka, was fined $450 and disqualified for six months, 450mcg, February 1.