WINZ phone threats not tolerated
Ashburton tragedy adds to fears
A Luggate man was arrested for threatening Work and Income staff in Alexandra.
Sergeant Aaron Nicholson, of Wanaka, said the 41-year-old man was arrested for misusing a telephone after he rang the Work and Income office in Alexandra and left a threatening phone message.
‘‘Given the tragedy (in Ashburton) this kind of thing is unnecessary,’’ Nicholson said.
Susan Leigh Cleveland, known as Leigh, and case worker Peggy Noble, were shot dead on September 1 at the Ashburton Work and Income office. Lindy Curtis was injured in the incident.
Russell John Tully, 48, is facing two charges of murder and one of attempted murder.
The Luggate man was a long-time Work and Income client. He had not threatened to kill staff.
A Work and Income spokesman said it had been dealing with several similar complaints across New Zealand since the fatal shootings and the organisation was working with police to increase security.
Aussies in strife
An Australian couple on honeymoon in Queenstown got into strife after an alcohol-fuelled night out celebrating their nuptials. Jason Kieran McLean, 27, of Elsternwick, southeast of Melbourne, appeared before Judge Tom Broadmore in the Queenstown District Court yesterday for driving with a breath alcohol level of 555mcg on September 6.
He was fined $850 and disqualified from driving for six months.
McLean and his wife were on honeymoon in New Zealand and out in Queenstown on Saturday night.
Lawyer Rachel Napier said her client was out drinking but got separated from his wife, who was later arrested.
She was taken to the police station to detox.
McLean arrived at the station in the early hours to collect his wife and was then processed for drinkdriving.
‘‘This has had quite an impact on their relationship," Napier said.
The judge said it was an act of folly to drive to the police station because McLean must have known he had had too much to drink. He made an order for immediate payment of the fine. The couple are expected to return to Australia today.
Facebook row ends in work sentence
A Wanaka man was sentenced to 12 months’ supervision and 125 hours’ community work after a Facebook exchange spiralled out of control.
Trevor David Riddell, 38, a labourer, appeared in the Queenstown District Court before Judge Tom Broadmore for sentence yesterday for threatening to kill two people in Invercargill on June 12.
The court was told an argument started on Facebook while Riddell was at home in Wanaka and the victims were in Invercargill.
He was intoxicated, the argument turned abusive, ended and he called police to say he believed another party was on the way to his home.
The judge said the threats included saying he was armed, he was going to kill the other parties and burn their houses down.
A police communications call-taker spent six minutes on the phone with Riddell as he yelled and verbally abused Wanaka police.
He said he had a semi-automatic rifle, and was going into town to do some damage, the court was previously told.
Contractor sentenced for bridge smash
A contractor who crashed while driving on a bridge near Alexandra has been sentenced to community work.
Tony John Keith, 26, appeared before Judge Dominic Flatley in the Alexandra District Court.
Keith was speeding on Shakey Bridge on June 13 when he hit ice and crashed.
On release from hospital, he resisted police and refused to accompany an officer to the station. He was found to have a breath alcohol level of 679mcg and was charged with drink-driving and careless use of a motor vehicle.
He was sentenced to 150 hours’ community work, disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay $13,927 for the damage to the bridge.
Offensive and disorderly behaviour
Amber Renee Stringer, 31, of Ranfurly, was sentenced to 175 hours’ community work for offensive behaviour between May 14 and June 8.
Juliette Tharon Matthews, 22, was charged with disorderly behaviour on June 10 in similar circumstances but was sentenced to 40 hours’ community work.
Bronson Lewis Tapatu, 28, was sentenced to 150 hours’ community work for disorderly behaviour on August 26.
Suini Setonga, 24, of Cromwell, was sentenced to three months’ jail for disorderly behaviour, breaching a protection order and wilful trespass on August 11.