Lawyer convicted of meth possession
Christchurch lawyer Steven Welch Rollo has been fined for possessing methamphetamine (P) and refusing to give his details to a police officer at a traffic stop.
The fines were imposed after a judge-alone trial that has been proceeding intermittently over about seven days since April.
Judge Josephine Bouchier – an out-of-town judge brought in to consider the case of the well-known Christchurch lawyer – delivered her guilty verdicts in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.
The judge suppressed much of her own comments, at the request of defence counsel James Rapley, but the details of the case can be reported.
Judge Bouchier fined 42-year-old Rollo $350 on the charge of possessing methamphetamine and $100 for refusing to give his details.
The trial was told Rollo had been approached by police when they saw him drive in and fill up his motorcycle at a service station in Hoon Hay on July 1, 2016.
Police were customers at the service station and asked Rollo for identification when he went inside and paid for his petrol without taking off his full-face helmet, despite a sign requesting people to take helmets off in the shop.
Rollo argued about the request and was warned about being arrested. When he was taken to a police car, he agreed to get his driver licence out of his cellphone folder, but apparently began filming the police on his cellphone.
He was then arrested, handcuffed and placed in the police car.
When he was searched at the police station, packages of methamphetamine totalling less than 1 gram were found in the pockets of his jeans and jacket.
Judge Bouchier ruled the traffic stop was lawful, and it was beyond reasonable doubt that Rollo was in possession of the drugs. She noted he had no previous convictions.