History catches up with bar worker

Last updated 09:43 28/07/2014

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Police have opposed a bar manager's licence being issued to a Picton woman with 16 criminal convictions.

A public hearing to decide if Carmen Cherie Rissetto, 42, could be issued a general manager's certificate was one of four heard by the Marlborough District Licensing Committee on Friday.

Rissetto, who works at the Jolly Roger Bar and Cafe on Waikawa Marina Beach Rd in Picton, has six drug-related convictions as well as one related to alcohol, four for dishonesty, three for breaching orders and two traffic-related convictions. These spanned from 1989 to 2013.

Sergeant Mike Western, of Blenheim, said police opposed issuing a manager's certificate because of Rissetto's criminal convictions; the fact she failed to declare her historic convictions on her application; and the time frame between the last recorded conviction and the time she made her application.

Rissetto told the committee she misunderstood the application and had not realised she had to list historic convictions.

Committee chairman John Leggett said the application needed to be answered to the applicant's "fullest knowledge".

The latest conviction in December last year was for driving while suspended.

Rissetto said she had no intention of hiding her past and was a different person now.

"I ask that these things I did are not held against me now, at a time when I am trying to do my best and set the best example I can for my teenage son," she said.

Her boss, Jolly Roger owner Michael Ganzevles, said Rissetto had been a great employee for the 12 months she had worked for him. She was well-liked, well-rounded and was an asset to the Jolly Roger, he said.

"I believe it is poignant to note that although Carmen has had a chequered past, it is well over 15 years ago and everyone deserves a second chance," he said.

"She has proved beyond a doubt to have changed her life around since the birth of her son."

A hearing was held for Blenheim woman Siok-Keng Lim, who applied to renew her manager's certificate.

Marlborough alcohol licensing inspector Alice Boyce opposed the application because she was unable to arrange an interview despite "numerous requests".

Lim told the committee she had tried to meet Boyce on two occasions.

Leggett said it appeared a communication issue had prevented an interview taking place.

Picton residents opposed an application by Enterprises No. 1 Limited, which owns Cafe Cortado, to include their outside dining area in their licensed area.

Cafe Cortado, on London Quay, has had an on-licence since December 2007.

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Four residents from the Quay Apartments above Cafe Cortado objected on the grounds the outside area should have a shorter licence time to minimise noise.

Quay Apartment residents Gerald McLean and Dorothy McLean said in a written submission they had not expected excessive noise from Cafe Cortado when they bought their apartment in 2008.

"In buying an apartment in central Picton we accepted that we would be subjected to some noise," they said.

"What we did not expect was that the man-made noise would be so excessive as to make living there on a permanent basis impossible."

They asked restrictions be put in place for the number of people at Cafe Cortado at any one time, and asked the outdoor area be closed at 10pm.

Picton Enterprises shareholder Marisa Friedrich said it would cause "significant damage" to trade if they moved people from the outdoor area at 10pm during summer.

The maximum trading time for the outdoor seating would be to midnight, the same as inside the restaurant.

A complaint by the McLeans was the first they had had in more than five years, she said.

Picton bar and restaurant the Toot and Whistle Inn, on Auckland St, applied for three more gaming machines.

Council compliance manager Garth Congdon opposed the application on the grounds Picton had enough gaming machines and increasing the number was likely to lead to an increase in problem gambling.

The committee adjourned and Leggett said decisions on the four matters were expected to be made this week.

- The Marlborough Express

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