Dunedin District Court

Otago Daily Times - - Court & General -

‘‘UN­TIL you deal with your al­co­hol is­sue you are un­safe on the road,’’ Judge Michael Turner said, when sen­tenc­ing a driv­ing of­fender in the Dunedin District Court yes­ter­day.

Daniel Bela Jack Grif­fin (20), en­gi­neer, had ad­mit­ted fail­ing to re­main stopped for an en­force­ment of­fi­cer, and driv­ing dan­ger­ously and with a breath­al­co­hol level of 680mcg, on Au­gust 19.

Pros­e­cu­tor Sergeant Paul Knox said Grif­fin was driv­ing his mother’s car in Princes St, about 11pm, and had two fe­male pas­sen­gers.

Stopped by po­lice for a ran­dom breath test, he drove on to the fore­court of the closed BP2Go petrol sta­tion and turned off the ve­hi­cle’s en­gine.

While po­lice were speak­ing to him, he restarted the ve­hi­cle, raced the en­gine and drove away.

At the in­ter­sec­tion with Lees St, he stopped briefly to let out one pas­sen­ger. He then ac­cel­er­ated up Lees St and turned on to Fern­hill St.

With the po­lice car fol­low­ing, its red and blue lights ac­ti­vated, Grif­fin turned into Melville St. He ac­cel­er­ated up to the in­ter­sec­tion with Manor Pl and drove through the in­ter­sec­tion at a speed es­ti­mated to be more than 70kmh.

Po­lice ceased fol­low­ing be­cause of the na­ture of his driv­ing.

They watched as he drove to­wards High St at speed.

Af­ter cross­ing the in­ter­sec­tion with Car­roll St, he pulled over and stopped.

Breath­tested, he ex­cess al­co­hol level.

In ex­pla­na­tion, he said he had gone to the Kens­ing­ton Tav­ern to pick up pas­sen­gers. His sis­ter, who was with him, con­vinced him to stop for po­lice.

Coun­sel Noel Rayner said Grif­fin was sub­ject to a sen­tence of in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion, part of which was to at­tend a res­i­den­tial pro­gramme.

A ma­jor mit­i­gat­ing fac­tor was he did stop for the po­lice.

Judge Turner said an ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tor was he had pas­sen­gers.

For dan­ger­ous driv­ing and drink­driv­ing, Grif­fin was con­victed and sen­tenced to 150 hours’ com­mu­nity work and nine months’ driv­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion (each charge, con­cur­rent).

Fail­ing to re­main stopped re­sulted in con­vic­tion and dis­charge.

Dan­ger­ous driv­ing

The driver climbed out un­hurt, but the rental car she crashed was ‘‘a to­tal write­off’’ af­ter it hit a metal fence and flipped on its roof fol­low­ing what Judge Turner said was ‘‘a very bad case of dan­ger­ous driv­ing’’.

Be­fore the judge yes­ter­day was 47­year­old Dunedin woman Hay­ley John­son, who ad­mit­ted driv­ing dan­ger­ously on Rus­s­ley RdS­tate High­way 1 in Christchurch on March 22.

John­son was trav­el­ling south in a rental car in heavy traf­fic on Rus­s­ley Rd about 4.55pm. She was driv­ing er­rat­i­cally, ag­gres­sively and at ex­ces­sive speed, mov­ing across the lanes, try­ing to over­take and weave around other ve­hi­cles, Sgt Knox said.

Be­cause of road works in the area, lanes and speed re­stric­tions were con­tin­u­ally changing. John­son’s ve­hi­cle sud­denly moved from the out­side lane to the in­side and then on to the grass verge, trav­el­ling a short dis­tance be­fore it hit a metal fence and flipped on its roof.

The rental car was ‘‘a to­tal write­off’’, but John­son climbed out un­hurt. It was es­ti­mated the car was do­ing be­tween 60kmh and 70kmh be­fore the ac­ci­dent, Sgt Knox said. John­son said she thought she ‘‘might have fallen asleep’’.

Her lawyer, pub­lic de­fender Sophia Thor­burn, told Judge Turner the de­fen­dant took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for what hap­pened. What she said about fall­ing asleep might well have been the case as she had cho­sen to drive an un­well per­son from Dunedin to Christchurch and spent about 24 hours with them with­out any sleep be­fore de­cid­ing to drive back to Dunedin.

Judge Turner said he had to rec­on­cile John­son’s man­ner of driv­ing with her claim she had fallen asleep. And the way she had been driv­ing sug­gested some level of con­trol.

But, given she had kept out of trou­ble in terms of driv­ing of­fences, the judge sen­tenced her to 60 hours’ com­mu­nity work and dis­qual­i­fied her for eight months.

Other con­vic­tions

Gre­gory James Shand (45), of Waitahuna, drink­driv­ing, 1176mcg, Colon­say St, Lawrence, about 10.30pm, May 13, eight months’ jail (with six months’ re­lease con­di­tions), dis­qual­i­fied three months (au­tho­rised to then ap­ply for al­co­hol­in­ter­lock and zero­al­co­hol li­cences). Coun­sel Anne Stevens said Shand had planned to stay in Lawrence on night, had place to stay, was mov­ing his car less than 100m for it to be se­cure overnight; his sev­enth drink­drive con­vic­tion, 10­year gap since last. Judge noted other five were in 1990, 1991, 1994 (2) and 1999; said pre­vi­ous sen­tences ‘‘ther­a­peu­tic, and then puni­tive, have not brought about a change in at­ti­tude’’.

Neil David Mil­lar (63), self­em­ployed painter, of Dunedin, re­fus­ing to per­mit tak­ing of blood spec­i­men for test­ing (sim­i­lar con­vic­tion 1994 when con­victed of 1062mcg drink­driv­ing a year af­ter first drink­driv­ing con­vic­tion for 800mcg breath al­co­hol), re­fus­ing to ac­com­pany an en­force­ment of­fi­cer, May 20 (de­fen­dant ap­peared af­fected by al­co­hol when left ho­tel, three times re­fused to un­dergo breath test, re­quired to ac­com­pany of­fi­cer to po­lice sta­tion, hurled abuse, warned three times, gave false sur­name, swore and walked away; same at­ti­tude at po­lice sta­tion where re­fused breath or blood test with­out ex­pla­na­tion, court told; long gap in his of­fend­ing, will­ing to do im­paired driv­ers’ course, coun­sel Marie Tay­lor­Cyphers said; no sug­ges­tion of bad driv­ing; been rec­om­mended not to drink and since heart con­di­tion di­ag­no­sis has less­ened con­sump­tion of al­co­hol, four months’ com­mu­nity de­ten­tion, cur­few 7pm Fri­day to 6am Mon­day, 80 hours’ com­mu­nity work, six months’ su­per­vi­sion, com­plete coun­selling pro­gramme as di­rected, dis­qual­i­fied 13 months and warned jail if of­fended again; re­fus­ing to ac­com­pany of­fi­cer, con­victed and dis­charged.

Caleb Jamie Mer­rett (25), of Balclutha, drink­driv­ing (1016mcg) while holder of ze­roal­co­hol li­cence (told po­lice had been drink­ing since 10am, had drunk un­known quan­tity of beer), Stan­ford St, Balclutha, about 7.45pm, April 16, three months’ com­mu­nity de­ten­tion (cur­fewed 7pm Fri­days to 7am Mon­days), 300 hours’ com­mu­nity work, dis­qual­i­fied in­def­i­nitely (can ap­ply for fur­ther zero­al­co­hol li­cence when re­gains li­cence). Mer­rett had two pre­vi­ous drink­drive con­vic­tions, in 2009 and 2013.

Ja­nine Louise Ing­ham (45), of Mos­giel, drink­driv­ing, 1041mcg, Gor­don Rd, Mos­giel, about 3pm, Au­gust 11, fined $1100, court costs $130, dis­qual­i­fied six months, six months’ su­per­vi­sion. Coun­sel Werner Van Harse­laar said Ing­ham de­pressed and very trou­bled at time; had been see­ing Com­mu­nity Al­co­hol and Drug Ser­vice be­fore the of­fence; had just re­turned from a self­funded pro­gramme to ad­dress her ad­dic­tion; no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

Marvin Michael Mola (38), of Waik­ouaiti, drink­driv­ing, 935mcg (mem­ber of pub­lic, con­cerned about Mola’s driv­ing, called po­lice; Mola said just go­ing to get an ice cream be­fore head­ing home), State High­way 1, North Dunedin, about 9.15pm, Au­gust 13, fined $950, court costs $130, dis­qual­i­fied six months. Coun­sel Deb­o­rah Hen­der­son said Mola a first of­fender.

Drew Matthew Craig Sta­ple­ton (24), forestry worker, of Ber­wick, drink­driv­ing, 684mcg, State High­way 8, Mil­ton, May 27, fined $690, court costs $130, dis­qual­i­fied eight months; driv­ing while driver li­cence sus­pended, Maun­gatua Rd, Au­gust 27, fined $400, dis­qual­i­fied eight months (con­cur­rent).

Jack Asher O’Kane (25), labourer, of Dunedin, drinkdriv­ing, 565mcg (head­ing north on one­way sys­tem, saw po­lice check­point, stopped, re­versed slightly, drove into ho­tel car park where po­lice found him still in driver’s seat), Cum­ber­land St, 1.19am, Au­gust 27, fined $570, court costs $130, dis­qual­i­fied six months. O’Kane had no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, court heard.

Thomas Clif­ford Batch­e­lor (26), postal worker, of Mos­giel, drink­driv­ing, 459mcg (while stopped in­di­cat­ing right turn and wait­ing for gap in traf­fic, was crashed into from be­hind by driver who failed to see his ve­hi­cle), Ma­can­drew Rd, about 9.45pm, Au­gust 16, fined $460, court costs $130, dis­qual­i­fied six months. Judge Turner agreed with coun­sel Steve Turner’s sub­mis­sion Batch­e­lor not at fault in re­gard to ac­ci­dent, other ve­hi­cle crashed into his.

Aaron Noel John­ston (45), su­per­vi­sor, drink­driv­ing, 442mcg, Onslow St, Au­gust 22 (a ran­dom stop, had drunk two large bot­tles of beer), fined $450, court costs $130, dis­qual­i­fied six months.

Jared Zep­plin Taueki, also known as Peter­son (26), fur­ni­ture re­mover, of Dunedin, Crimes Act male as­saults fe­male of­fence against woman with whom in re­la­tion­ship at time, and two charges of in­ten­tional dam­age (ar­gued with vic­tim when found her on phone to a male; shoved her; dur­ing scuf­fle which fol­lowed vic­tim re­ceived bruis­ing to one of her arms; Taueki took phone and threw it into neigh­bour’s gar­den; while vic­tim re­triev­ing phone, de­fen­dant smashed rear wind­screen, lights and indi­ca­tors on her car, also dam­aged dust bin be­long­ing to her by kick­ing it), Fe­bru­ary 12; Sum­mary Of­fences Act as­sault on cur­rent part­ner, 25­weeks’ preg­nant with their child (pair in bed in mo­tel, ar­gu­ment, vic­tim got up and left room; de­fen­dant con­fronted her in door­way shortly af­ter, she asked him to leave, he pushed her with both hands caus­ing her to take step back­wards; she taken to Dunedin hos­pi­tal to en­sure baby not harmed), July 10; fail­ing to at­tend court, Fe­bru­ary 17, 140 hours’ com­mu­nity work (made up of 100 hours for Crimes Act as­sault, ad­di­tional 40 hours for Sum­mary Of­fences Act as­sault — the 140 hours cu­mu­la­tive on cur­rent term); con­cur­rent 40­hour com­mu­nity work terms on all other charges, repa­ra­tion $2500 (car dam­age).

Ash­leigh El­iz­a­beth Carr (24), solo mother and part­time worker, of Mil­ton, Crimes Act as­sault on woman, Sum­mary Of­fences Act as­sault on the woman, and threat­en­ing be­hav­iour to­wards the woman, Mil­ton, March 10, 50 hours’ com­mu­nity work (each charge, con­cur­rent). Judge noted no last­ing con­se­quences from in­ci­dent; Carr’s be­hav­iour un­char­ac­ter­is­tic; no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

Pa­nia Marama Wereta (43), of Palmer­ston, steal­ing hair dye and two pairs socks (value $24.99), The Ware­house, South Dunedin, Au­gust 12, six months’ su­per­vi­sion, repa­ra­tion $25; Judge Turner noted Wereta was tak­ing steps to deal with per­sonal fac­tors that led to the of­fend­ing.

Lach­lan Sampson­Bun­gard (18), of Dunedin, two breaches of su­per­vi­sion (failed to give rea­son­able no­tice be­fore mov­ing ad­dress on Septem­ber 5, failed to re­port be­tween Au­gust 30 and Septem­ber 6), sen­tence de­ferred nine months.

Lisi­ate Sakalia, also known as Ed­die Ed­wards (38), of Dunedin, breach­ing in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion, Au­gust 28, sen­tence de­ferred nine months.

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