Judge warns 'menace' of jail

Last updated 09:49 17/06/2014

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A 24-year-old man admitted charges of dangerous driving and drink-driving when he appeared in the Blenheim District Court yesterday.

Police prosecutor sergeant Mark Harris said Clinton Grant Miller, of Spring Creek, was clocked driving at 133kmh in a 80kmh area of Rapaura Rd in Blenheim.

He was stopped by police and underwent a breath-screening test which returned a result of 726 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

The legal limit is 400mcg per litre of breath.

His lawyer, Kent Arnott, said his client had thought he was in a 100kmh zone but accepted that was not an excuse.

Judge Richard Russell said Miller had been before the court last year on a charge of drink-driving.

"Here you are again just a bit over a year later driving with 726 micrograms of alcohol in your system, doing a speed of 133 kilometres per hour in an 80-kilometre zone.

"You're just a menace on the roads, people like you are responsible for the carnage we see on the roads," he said.

He convicted Miller and sentenced him to 130 hours' community work and six months' supervision.

He also disqualified him from driving for 12 months', and subjected him to a zero-alcohol licence for three years once the disqualification ended.

"Ultimately you'll end up in prison if you keep going the way you're going."

Grant Raymond Stokes admitted four charges of causing loss by deception, one of theft, one of using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage and one of breaching bail.

The court heard that Stokes fleeced multiple businesses in the Tauranga area between 2011 and 2012.

He had been employed at a business in the region, the owners of which entrusted him with a cellphone and a fuel card for work vehicles.

After leaving his job in 2012, Stokes kept the cellphone and the fuel card, and continued to use them.

He worked up a phone bill totalling more than $1000, which was charged to his former employers, and used the fuel card for personal purchases, totalling $421.61.

In September 2012 Stokes stayed at a Tauranga apartment complex, where he used the internet and ordered various food items, before leaving without paying for any of his expenses.

They totalled approximately $1600.

He did the same at another motel and at a restaurant, where he took advantage of about $500, and $130 worth of services, respectively, without paying.

In explanation Stokes said he was a gambler and sometimes went through bad episodes.

Restorative justice was going to be explored and Stokes was remanded until July 21 for sentencing on the charges.

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He was also remanded without plea on a charge of blackmail.

Reuben Joseph Roberts, 19, admitted two charges of burglary and one of theft after returning to a Blenheim house three times to take more than $10,000 worth of property.

Harris said the Springlands man and two associates went to the Battys Rd property early on May 31.

They entered the house through an unsecured door and took alcohol from the kitchen, before leaving and returning about 20 minutes later.

They then took three laptops, DVD players, cameras, a large LCD flat-screen TV and more alcohol.

Upon realising somebody was awake in one of the bedrooms they quickly left.

When they realised they had left some of their own personal items behind, they returned to the house and took more property from the lounge and bedrooms after checking the occupant was asleep.

The property was worth in excess of $10,000, which the men agreed to sell and split the proceeds.

When police searched Roberts' house they also found other stolen items.

The judge said he had received a letter from the defendant, which was "reasonably well written".

"[The letter] shows that you have got some intelligence and the ability to understand the impacts on the victim."

It was beyond belief that Roberts had decided to offend the way he did, the judge said.

"You're only 19 and already you've accumulated an unenviable list of convictions."

He remanded him in custody until July 14 for sentencing.

Shaun Thomas Smith, 32, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to injure with intent to frighten.

The Blenheim man sent multiple derogatory messages to his former partner via Facebook and text message, saying he would injure her if he saw her again, including one message which said he would slit her throat.

The court heard that Smith had broken up with the victim after 14 years and their relationship had been "toxic" since the break up.

The judge said he understood that there was underlying background to the messages but Smith needed to come up with another way to deal with stress.

"While that may be a reason for you acting the way you did, it's not an excuse, not a justifiable excuse."

He sentenced him to six months' supervision and 50 hours' community work.

- The Marlborough Express

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