Attacker saw red - Mum sent flying

Last updated 15:35 04/12/2012

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A Picton man who thought his mother had been run over and killed attacked the driver, his lawyer says.

Police said yesterday that Christopher Thomas Dunn, 30, of Waikawa, attacked the man who drove into Dunn's mother while trying to take a car from a house at Waikawa on October 30.

Dunn admitted a charge of assault when he appeared in Blenheim District Court yesterday and was sentenced to nine months' supervision, including having anger management counselling.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said Dunn, his mother and the driver's ex-partner were at a Waikawa Rd house on October 30 when the driver tried to take the woman's car.

The trio tried to convince him to stop, but he ignored them and backed the car out of the drive, hitting Dunn's mother and "sending her flying", Mr Harris said.

Dunn attacked the man, punching him and giving him a bleeding nose before the man ran away. Dunn told police he "saw red" and accepted what he had done was wrong, he said.

Defence lawyer Rennie Gould said Dunn thought his mother was dead.

"She was knocked out and there was a lot of blood."

Dunn asked for a sentence of supervision so he could have anger management counselling, which he thought he needed, Ms Gould said.

Dunn had a glowing reference from his employer, Sounds Air, and there was no longer any bad blood between him and the victim, she said.

Mr Harris said the victim had been charged with careless driving.

Also appearing in the court yesterday:

James Maxwell Gardiner, 42, a vineyard worker, of Blenheim, admitted a charge of resisting arrest and disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence when he fought off police after being caught trying to steal a street sign in Lakings Rd early on Friday morning.

Defence lawyer Philip Watson said Gardiner described it as his "annual appearance" in court.

Judge Anne Gaskell fined Gardiner $400.

Mr Harris said police were called just after 1am by a resident concerned about a drunk man rolling around on their driveway. They found Gardiner trying to steal the "give way" sign. He was drunk, aggressive and abusive.

Gardiner had struggled as police tried to get him into the police car and kicked at officers at the police station.

Mr Watson said Gardiner had a long history of similar offences.

Judge Gaskell told Gardiner he was getting to the age where he should be staying out of trouble.

A 17-year-old Blenheim youth admitted assault and was remanded to January 28 to try working through restorative justice.

The youth was granted interim name suppression because of his relationship with the victim.

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Shane Shirley-McKay, 18, unemployed of Blenheim, admitted shoplifting from Countdown Blenheim and trespassing at The Warehouse and was sentenced to 65 hours' community work.

Reid William David Hughes, 18, of Blenheim, admitted driving while disqualified and was remanded to December 17 for sentencing.

Gabriela Newman, 40, denied charges of assault of a 12-year-old girl and assault of another woman and was remanded to reappear on January 29.

Shian Joseph King, 20, a labourer, of Blenheim, admitted a charge of breaching the liquor ban, but denied a charge of theft and was remanded to reappear on February 5.

- The Marlborough Express

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