Man admits supplying alcohol to 9-year-old

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 16:29 12/06/2014

Drunk at nine

Kali Tiloi
MARK TAYLOR
GUILTY PLEA: Kali Tiloi.

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One of three Hamilton people charged with supplying alcohol to a 9-year-old boy has been fined, while a second has had his charge dismissed.

Kali Tiloi this morning pleaded guilty when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court by audio-visual link on one charge of supplying alcohol to a minor.

Judge David Ruth convicted Tiloi and fined him $750 and court costs of $130.

Michael Harry King and Lucy Teari Winnie Snowden have also been charged in relation to the incident and have pleaded not guilty.

At the end of the prosecution case this afternoon, Judge Ruth dismissed the case against King stating there hadn't been any "reliable evidence that you took part in supplying alcohol to this boy".

Judge Ruth reserved judgement against Snowden until tomorrow morning.

Earlier, the court was told the boy was celebrating his ninth birthday on January 7 in the Fairfield skate park on Clarkin Rd.

He had skated to the park alone and met with a 12-year-old female friend.

Tiloi, King and Snowden were sitting under a tree drinking alcohol, the court heard.

The 9-year-old and his friend went over to the group after recognising one of them as an associate of his father.

The boy became aware they were drinking cans of bourbon and Cola and asked them for a can. One of the trio allegedly gave the boy a drink.

The three then left to buy more alcohol before returning.

The boy drank more bourbon and Cola but was also given shots of other pre-mixed liquor, the court heard.

The boy then walked over to the skate park area where his behaviour caught the attention of others and was recorded on video.

Judge Ruth was critical of not only Tiloi's actions but also the fact the boy was unsupervised in the park on his birthday.

"What he was doing in the skate park without adult supervision beggars belief quite frankly, and this boy has been let down by a number of people on this day including you," he said

Judge Ruth said it was difficult to know before holding the defended hearing who did what.

The drinks supplied to the boy were "strong to an adult let alone a 9-year-old boy".

"Some, I understand, to be 20 per cent and that's a very high alcohol content," the judge said.

"This boy, one way or another, ended up in a state which was captured and published in media channels. That must have been humiliating for not only this boy's family but himself, and if it's not humiliating now ... no doubt it will be in future years."

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