Court appearances

Last updated 11:42 14/03/2014

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A Marlborough man who denied drink-driving would have been better off to have admitted the offence immediately, a judge said yesterday.

William Matthews, 65, vacated a not guilty plea and admitted the charge when he appeared in the Blenheim District Court yesterday.

Judge Tony Zohrab told Matthews that if he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity he would have received a lighter penalty. He disqualified him from driving for seven months and fined him $850.

Matthews stopped at a police check point on May 25 last year.

Breath screening showed an excess breath-alcohol level of 746 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

A Blenheim man was acquitted of disorderly behaviour, but found guilty of escaping police custody when he appeared in court on Wednesday.

Pani Wikingi, 19, a fisherman, was at a party on Scott St, Blenheim, on September 28. Police saw him involved in a fight outside the property about 10.30pm. They arrested Wikingi for disorderly behaviour and handcuffed him. A police officer left him by a police car, before going to see if his colleague needed help.

Wikingi then ran from the car, down a driveway.

When the police officer chased him, he came out from behind the house and apologised for running away, saying he did not want to get into any more trouble.

Wikingi said in court he had run because the man he had been fighting with earlier was coming towards him.

The police officer said he had not seen anybody else coming towards the car.

Judge Zohrab dismissed the disorderly behaviour charge, because it could not be determined who started the fight.

He convicted Wikingi of escaping police custody and sentenced him to six months' supervision and 50 hours' community work.

A 69-year-old truck-driver was found guilty of two log book-related charges when he appeared in court on Wednesday.

Gordon Roy Huddleston failed to have 10 hours' continuous rest in a cumulative work day, and exceeded 13 hours of work in a cumulative work day. Huddleston had only had nine-and-a-half hours' rest on June 25, before driving for nearly 15 hours' the following day, the court heard. Judge Tony Zohrab fined him $200 on each charge and disqualified him from holding or obtaining a class two to six licence for six weeks.

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- The Marlborough Express

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