WINZ phone threats not tol­er­ated

Ash­bur­ton tragedy adds to fears

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.

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