Driver worked for car rental com­pany

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Em­ployee crashes car

A lucky es­cape by two English­men liv­ing in Queen­stown who ca­reened into a 30 me­tre ravine and ended up in Wye Creek two weeks ago has turned into a case re­sult­ing in se­ri­ous driv­ing charges.

The 24-year-old driver is now fac­ing dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing in­jury and un­law­ful con­ver­sion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle af­ter po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed he was an em­ployee of a rental ve­hi­cle com­pany, and took the ve­hi­cle un­law­fully.

Act­ing sergeant Phil Ham­blin said the driver was al­lowed to drive work ve­hi­cles for work pur­poses but ‘‘went be­yond his author­ity, tak­ing the ve­hi­cle home for the night and al­legedly drove south to pick up his pas­sen­ger in the small hours of the morn­ing’’.

Af­ter al­legedly pick­ing up the pas­sen­ger on the morn­ing of Wed­nes­day, April 30, he crashed, in­jur­ing him­self and the pas­sen­ger. He will ap­pear in the Queen­stown District Court on Mon­day.

Fight­ing in the streets

A se­ries of pub­lic fights kept Queen­stown po­lice busy early on the weekend.

Sergeant Tracy Hag­gart said two Ger­man men were ar­rested for fight­ing out­side The Find in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing af­ter one was de­nied en­try and be­gan push­ing the door­man, re­sult­ing in a shov­ing match. The other male jumped on the back of the door­man.

The 23 and 24-year-olds were ar­rested and re­leased on a pre-charge warn­ing.

About one hour later an 18-year-old from In­ver­cargill was ar­rested af­ter ap­proach­ing a group of males in the male and ap­par­ently punch­ing one in the mouth for no rea­son.

On Satur­day morn­ing three men were ar­rested for fight­ing on Camp St, at the top of the Mall. They all lived in Queen­stown and were aged 18, 19 and 21. An­other man was not caught at the time.

Fines ar­rest

A 29-year-old New Zealan­der liv­ing in Aus­tralia was ar­rested at Queen­stown Air­port for fines in­curred in 2003. Hag­gart said the man’s fines were $2200 and an ar­range­ment was made for them to be paid.

Cold case

Three people were ar­rested in re­la­tion to the theft of jack­ets from the Mi­nus 5 Ice Bar at the Steamer Wharf. The trio had vis­ited the bar and walked off with the jack­ets. They were fol­lowed by staff to their ac­com­mo­da­tion on Lake Es­planade and po­lice were con­tacted.

Two 21-year-old Ger­man males were ar­rested and charged with theft. A 21-yearold fe­male was ar­rested for ob­struc­tion and re­leased on a pre-charge warn­ing.

Thieves hit Cen­tral Otago build­ings and yards

Op­por­tunis­tic thieves are con­tin­u­ing to plague Cen­tral Otago. Sergeant Si­mon Paget, of Cromwell Po­lice, said be­tween April 10 and May 5 a large num­ber of rail­way sleep­ers were stolen from an Ortive St ad­dress. Overnight on Thurs­day, May 8 cob­ble­stones were stolen from a busi­ness in the McNulty Road area.

‘‘The of­fend­ers are mo­bile in the Cen­tral Otago area tar­get­ing in­dus­trial or commercial op­er­a­tions and steal­ing any­thing of value that is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble.’’

Busi­ness people and trades­men should en­sure build­ings and yards were se­cured and valu­able items were stored se­curely, he said.

‘‘The wider Cen­tral Otago area is also cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a spate of diesel thefts with sev­eral truck­ing com­pa­nies be­ing tar­geted in the Man­iototo area.’’

Mo­torist escapes in­jury in rock­fall crash

Wet weather has caused prob­lems for mo­torists on Cen­tral Otago roads.

Paget said about 4.45pm on Wed­nes­day last week a driver es­caped in­jury af­ter crash­ing in the Lindis Pass area.

A large rock had slipped onto the road and in an ef­fort to avoid it she lost con­trol of her ve­hi­cle and rolled down a bank.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, about 5pm on Thurs­day, a ve­hi­cle head­ing to­wards Queen­stown crashed near Pigeon Rock, Kawa­rau Gorge.

The driver lost con­trol ap­proach­ing a mod­er­ate right-hand bend, crossed the cen­tre line and hit a bank. He was not in­jured.

Off the wagon

A woman who ‘‘fell off the wagon’’ af­ter the death of her hus­band 15 months ago has been sen­tenced to four months’ home de­ten­tion for driv­ing with ex­cess breath al­co­hol.

In the Alexan­dra District Court on Thurs­day, Judge Stephen Coyle said Me­lanie Al­brecht-Thomp­son, 50, cleaner, had re­joined Al­co­holics Anony­mous, was un­der­go­ing grief coun­selling and had sur­ren­dered her car since the in­ci­dent at the New World su­per­mar­ket on March 1, when she was found to have a breath al­co­hol read­ing of 1020mcg.

Five pre­vi­ous drink-driv­ing con­vic­tions dur­ing the past 21 years, should have had Al­brecht-Thomp­son sen­tenced to 14 months’ jail, but the judge said the court could not be blind to the cir­cum­stances of her hus­band’s death and what had en­sued with his es­tate.

It was a case of bal­anc­ing be­tween per­sonal cir­cum­stances and the need to pro­tect the com­mu­nity, the judge said. She was also disqual­i­fied for 20 months.

Dis­or­derly be­hav­iour

Andrew Wal­ter Cox, 48, of Cromwell, was fined $200 for dis­or­derly be­hav­iour and $500 for in­ten­tional dam­age in Cromwell on April 18.

Wayne Alan Gor­don-Glass­ford, 44, of Mil­ton ‘‘needed to make some ma­jor changes in his life’’ the judge said, fin­ing him $200 for of­fen­sive be­hav­iour at Cromwell on April 19 and sen­tenc­ing him to 100 hours’ com­mu­nity work for pos­sess­ing cannabis on the same day.

Kali An­nan, 21, was fined $200 for in­ten­tion­ally dam­ag­ing a win­dow on April 4.

Drugs con­vic­tion

Sinead Terri Booth, 18, shed­hand, of Cromwell, was sen­tenced to 150 hours’ com­mu­nity work for pos­sess­ing cannabis and uten­sils at Cromwell on March 3.

She was also sen­tenced to a fur­ther 120 hours’ com­mu­nity work in lieu of fines, to be added to the 75 hours she al­ready was serv­ing.

The judge re­minded Booth com­mu­nity work was not a box of chocolates that she could pick and choose from.

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