Court : Woman bit policeman

Last updated 11:44 12/02/2013

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A Renwick woman who bit a policeman stopping her trespassing at the Blues, Brews & BBQs festival will probably have to apologise to the officer to avoid a conviction after police recommended she go through restorative justice.

Casey Margaret Taylor, 17, appeared in the Blenheim District Court yesterday charged with assaulting a police officer after the incident on February 2.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Graham Single said police were willing to see the matter go through restorative justice.

Taylor was likely to be discharged without a conviction if she completes a process agreed to by her, the police and Safer Communities Marlborough, which might include meeting the officer to apologise.

Judge Richard Russell told Taylor she was lucky to be given a chance to avoid the conviction.

"You think seriously about the way you acted here and be grateful to the police that they are giving you the opportunity to go down this path."

Also appearing in court yesterday:

A Blenheim woman with more than 60 dishonesty charges narrowly avoided being sent to prison for shoplifting two pairs of jeans.

Judge Russell told Collette April Miller that he had seriously considered sending her to prison for two months when she appeared yesterday for sentencing after admitting shoplifting the jeans priced at $89.98 from Postie Plus Blenheim. Police and business owners had "clearly had a gutsful" of her, he said.

He sentenced her to 18 months' intensive supervision to complete drug and alcohol treatment, including residential treatment if necessary, along with a tikanga Maori programme and any other programmes recommended to stop her offending.

Mr Single said Miller, 44, took the jeans from Postie Plus about 10.30am on November 29. Police found the jeans at her house when they searched it later that day. He asked for Miller to be sentenced to jail, saying she had 38 previous convictions for shoplifting and 29 other dishonesty-type convictions, as well as multiple breaches of court orders and sentences and needed to learn if she stole she would end up in prison.

Defence lawyer Rennie Gould said Miller had not been in trouble for more than a year before the incident and appeared to have turned a corner in her life since then. A probation report assessed her as being at low risk of reoffending.

Judge Russell told Miller he would be monitoring her progress and if she offended again he would bring her back and resentence her, almost certainly sending her to prison.

Charlene Hinetai Karaitiana, 30, of Picton, admitted charges of driving with a breath alcohol level of 804mcg in January, and driving unaccompanied and without L plates while on her learner's licence in December. She was disqualified from driving for eight months and sentenced to 85 hours' community work.

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Mr Single said Karaitiana admitted drinking, but gave no reasons for her drink-driving when she was stopped at a breath-testing checkpoint on January 27. She had been stopped 15 times for breaching her learner's licence before she was stopped on December 21.

Judge Russell said it seemed Karaitiana was a menace on the roads.

Caleb Royce Bradley Hamlin, 42, unemployed, of Riversdale, admitted cultivating cannabis, possessing cannabis, possessing cannabis seeds and possessing drug utensils, and was remanded for sentencing on March 25. Mr Single said when police searched Hamlin's house on January 26, they found two cannabis plants growing in a green tent in the backyard and two more growing in a garden. They also found about 1000 cannabis seeds in two bags, two tinnies, a bag holding 55g cannabis, a bong, pipe and spotting knives.

Judge Russell said Hamlin had similar convictions from last year and from the 1990s.

Timu Dean Smith, 18, a vineyard worker, of Blenheim, was sentenced to six months' supervision after previously admitting a charge of assault. He was sentenced to six months' supervision for alcohol and drug and anger management counselling.

Judge Russell said Smith had been going through restorative justice but had not completed the counselling section and needed to address his health issues.

John Ian Hart, 42, a youth worker, of Blenheim, admitted ill-treating 32 alpacas and was ordered to pay $994.70 in reparation to the SPCA and ordered to come up for sentence if called upon in the next year.

Mr Single said Hart was given the alpacas by a person leaving New Zealand early in 2012, but he had no farming experience. He put the alpacas in two paddocks he had rented, which had been used as vineyards. The SPCA was called by a person concerned the alpacas did not have enough food in April, and between April and July the SPCA and a vet visited Hart three times, providing him with extensive advice on how to care for the alpacas.

In that time, one alpaca had to be put down because it was too malnourished and eight alpacas had to be culled.

Some of the animals became entangled in wire and netting in the paddocks, he said. Hart was also told to put feed hay in a covered raised area, but when the SPCA visited on July 6, the hay was uncovered and rotting, he said.

Mrs Gould said Hart had started constructing an area to hold the hay when heavy rain prevented him getting to the paddocks near Canvastown and finishing covering it. Hart's issues were a combination of inexperience and overcommitment and since July he had got help from other farmers and the animals were doing well.

Mr Single agreed Hart's farming had improved and said he hoped a suspended sentence would motivate him to keep improving.

Samuel James Koroheke, 20, unemployed of Mayfield, admitted disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence and was fined $300. Mr Single said Koroheke tried to get into a fight with a man who arrived at his girlfriend's house on February 6 to ask about a room to rent. Koroheke told police he recognised the man from an earlier incident and wanted to fight him.

Richard Steven Maddock, 52, an analyst, of Mayfield, admitted a charge of shoplifting a $90 torch from Bunnings Blenheim on January 12 and was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon in the next nine months.

Mr Single said Maddock picked up three items, including the torch, which he put in his bag. He paid for the other two items, but did not pay for the torch, he said. When stopped by security, he offered to pay, but the store instead called the police. He told police he had put the torch in his bag to carry it and simply forgot to pay for it.

Defence lawyer Philip Watson said Maddock's arms were full when he put the torch in his bag. Maddock had had $1000 cash and a bank card and it was unfortunate the store refused to let him pay.

Lee Peter Kite, 17, unemployed of Riversdale admitted a charge of unlawfully taking a bicycle, but denied charges of burglary and unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle.

He was remanded to reappear on March 5.

Leon Christopher McGuire, 49, of Spring Creek, denied a charge of assault with intent to injure and was remanded to reappear on March 26.

- The Marlborough Express

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