Court appearances

22:30, Mar 24 2014


Stefan Andrew O'Brien, 19, appeared in the Blenheim District Court for a second time on a charge of theft yesterday, after the phone he stole was recovered.

The Blenheim man first appeared last month, after stealing an iPhone 5 from an unknown victim while he was at Fairweathers bar on December 15. Judge Russell gave him a month to either recover the phone, which was worth $899, or come up with the money to replace it.

When he returned to court yesterday the phone had been returned, but Judge Russell was not satisfied the victim had been fully repaid. He ordered O'Brien to pay $350 in emotional harm reparation and ordered him to come up for sentence if called within nine months.

"[This was] just really, really dumb stuff by you, and I simply wasn't going to let you go last time you appeared in court," Judge Russell said. "You have now fronted up with the phone, so I give you credit for digging yourself out of the hole you got into here."

Broghan Wyatt Rakete, 17, accepted a charge of drink-driving.


He was stopped by police when he was driving in Nelson St on March 20 about 8am. Police noticed a strong smell of alcohol. An evidential breath test showed Rakete, of Mayfield, had a breath alcohol level of 757 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Judge Russell said the level had been high, at nearly twice the legal limit, and was "far, far too much alcohol" for such a young man to have in his system while driving.

He sentenced Rakete to 40 hours' community work and six months' supervision and disqualified him from driving for six months.

On two other charges of theft, one he had admitted and one he had denied, Rakete was remanded until May 5 for a case review hearing on the denied charge. The remand on the accepted charge was to keep the two together.

Kevin Graham Ward-Watson, 20, was remanded in custody until this morning on a charge of breaching his community work.

Danielle Olivia Rangiuaia was remanded until April 14 on one charge of assaulting a police officer, and one of obstructing police.

Matthew John Burgess, 29, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault.

Mr Single said the Picton man had been on a fishing trip on February 1 with a group of associates and had decided to go to the pub while they were waiting for a ride home.

He and his associates had been drinking alcohol on the trip and had an altercation with another younger group, who were also on the boat, earlier in the day. About 8.25pm another fight began between the groups and the victim tried to break it up.

Burgess told him to go away and then punched him, knocking him to the ground.

His associates intervened when he went to hit him again. The victim suffered torn ligaments in his ankle, and pain in his lower back and face.

Burgess' lawyer, Kent Arnott, said the victim had been causing trouble with the group all day and his client had had enough.

Judge Russell said he heard his reasons but that was no excuse to punch someone, and there were plenty of other ways to deal with anger and frustration.

He fined Burgess $300 and ordered him to pay the victim $350 in emotional harm reparation.

Thomas William MacDonald, 25, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis.

Mr Single said MacDonald was a passenger of a car that was pulled over in Nelson St about 2.25pm on March 19. He was spoken to by the police officer, who discovered he was wanted, and arrested him.

When MacDonald was searched, police found a small amount of cannabis on him, and a further 29 grams in a backpack he was carrying. He told police he smoked cannabis twice a day for health reasons.

Judge Russell sentenced him to 80 hours' community work.

"The use of cannabis is against the law and if you've got health issues you need to find an alternative way to deal with them," the judge said.

Adam Ian Baldick, 33, was remanded without plea to reappear on April 8 on a charge of assaulting a female.

Metua Aberahama, 40, was remanded without plea on two charges of theft until April 8.

Dameon Aaron Pullan appeared on a charge of burglary, one of breaching a community work sentence and two charges of breaching his court release conditions.

He entered no pleas to the charges and was remanded to appear on Friday.

Dylan James Looker, 22, a tyre retreader, was remanded without plea until April 14 on one charge of wilful damage and one of indecent assault on a woman over 16.


The Marlborough Express