Dunedin District Court
‘‘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.
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.
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.