Man assaulted female worker

A Blenheim man admitted indecently assaulting a woman after trapping her behind a counter.

In Blenheim District Court yesterday, Phillippe Frank Jean Cochet, 42, a vineyard worker, was given a strike warning under the three strikes legislation and remanded for sentencing on February 21.

Crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue said Cochet had gone to the woman's workplace on March 18 to demand money from her boss, saying the man owed him $60 in unpaid wages for vineyard work. The man was not there and Cochet left. When he returned at 5pm and found the man he wanted was still not there, he demanded that the woman give him the money and followed her behind a counter, telling her to give him tobacco instead of the money, Mr O'Donoghue said.

Cochet made inappropriate comments to the woman and moved into her way to stop her getting out from behind the counter, before touching her bottom and rubbing against her as she tried to escape, Mr O'Donoghue said.

Judge Stephen Harrop ordered a pre-sentence report, including a drug and alcohol assessment.

Also appearing in the court yesterday:

Shane Tiheme Kakahi, 39, of Blenheim, admitted a charge of assaulting a female and three charges of assaulting the same woman with intent to injure between May and July and was remanded for sentencing on February 20.

Colin Gordon Webb, 56, of Dunedin, was sentenced to 100 hours' community work after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer with intent to injure, for biting an officer in Blenheim District Court on December 9 last year. Judge Harrop said Webb objected to the outcome of a case in the court and refused to leave at the end of the day. Two officers tried to get him to leave but, during a scuffle, Webb bit one of the officers in the leg. In court yesterday, Webb continued to deny the charge and said he would appeal against the conviction, saying the whole incident had cost him his business.

Jason Rua Carver, 40, of Picton, was sentenced after being found guilty of assaulting his sister. Carver was ordered to do 150 hours' community work, 12 months' supervision and to pay $100 in reparation.

Judge Harrop said Carver had been drinking at the same bar as his sister. When she and her friends went to leave in a van, he jumped in uninvited and asked to be taken home. At his house, he refused to get out and demanded to be taken to another house. Carver was being obnoxious and would not get out at the next address, so his sister tried to pull him out of the van and punched him. He responded by punching her, Judge Harrop said. Carver was holding a bottle at the time and the punch left the victim with a split lip and bruised cheek. The judge told Carver he had to face up to the fact he had a drinking problem.

Trevor Allan Kennett, 45, admitted a charge of resisting police and was ordered to come up for sentencing if called upon within the next 12 months. Gavin James Columbus, 40, of Springlands, admitted a charge of intentional damage after breaking his former partner's door when she locked him outside after an argument at a house in Henderson St on September 22. He was sentenced to do 210 hours' community work and ordered to pay reparation of $250. The victim was granted a protection order.

Jamie Gibson, 34, of Blenheim, admitted driving while disqualified on a third or subsequent charge and was disqualified from driving for one year and one day and had an existing community work sentence of 358 hours' community work replaced with one of 380 hours' community work.

Gibson was caught at a police drink-drive checkpoint in Lower Hutt on October 28. Defence lawyer Rennie Gould said Gibson had foolishly agreed to test-drive a car that his brother was considering buying and had only driven it a short distance when they were stopped.

Hemi Paki Pope, 30, a labourer of Canvastown, admitted shoplifting a $23 gas cylinder from Mitre 10 Nelson, but denied shoplifting a 47-inch flat-screen television from The Warehouse in Levin. He was remanded to reappear in court on February 5.

The Marlborough Express