Evidence falls short

A judge has dismissed a case against a Blenheim man accused of a failing to stop after a crash, saying the police had improperly laid key evidence in their case.

Raymond Gary Marzola, 46, of Blenheim was facing charges of careless driving and failing to stop to check for injury after a car crash on Main St, Blenheim on December 27, 2011.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said the accident happened when a car failed to give way from a side street and drove into a second car. Nobody was injured.

A police witness failed to turn up to court yesterday and the case was left reliant on text messages, which police obtained on a search warrant.

Judge Zohrab said the text messages could not be brought as evidence because the police had failed to follow standard procedure in proving they were from Mr Marzola and that they were the only messages relevant to the case.

"From the text messages it looks pretty clear Mr Marzola was likely the driver, but on the basis of the admissibility of evidence it can't be proved. I'm not saying you didn't do it I'm just saying it can't be proved."

Also in court yesterday:

Raymond Lester Lovell, 43, of Christchurch was found guilty of breaching a protection order by yelling abuse at a former partner in a Picton car park on June 4 last year. He was ordered to pay $250 in emotional harm reparation.

The Marlborough Express