Binge-drinking in Qtown endemic - Auckland judge

Last updated 08:30 10/12/2012

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An Auckland-based judge said last week that there was an endemic culture of binge-drinking in Queenstown.

Judge Laurence Ryan was sitting in Queenstown District Court for several alcohol-related cases, including assault.

James Douglas Webster, 26, of Scotland, electric cable jointer, was charged with assault with intent to injure on November 9.

The court was told he was in Queenstown Mall and made derogatory comments about another man's clothes and was punched to the ground then pushed.

He then punched his victim in the face, knocking him to the ground, where he kicked him in the head and left him unconscious.

Lawyer Phena Byrne said a fight was started by another party and her client was knocked to the ground, but he accepted his reaction was inappropriate.

The judge said the offendding was more than just a brawl and the penalties included a maximum three years' jail. "This is the binge-drinking type of lifestyle. This is endemic in Queenstown . . . There's quite a heavy drinking culture here and violence seems to follow."

Webster, whose visa expires next month, when he is expected to leave New Zealand, was fined $500 and ordered to pay $1000 reparation.

Threatening

Leigh Topping, 28, of Britain, was sentenced to 50 hours' community work for intentionally damaging an electronic ticketing device and behaving in a threatening manner, likely in the circumstances to cause violence against persons to start, on October 3.

Assault

David Keith Nicol, 31, blocklayer, of Fernhill, was remanded for sentencing on January 28 for assaulting a police officer using a torch and behaving in a disorderly manner that was likely in the circumstances to cause violence against persons to start, on October 22.

Raymond William Peat, 36, of Wanaka, was sentenced to three months' community detention for injuring with reckless disregard for the safety of others on February 19.

Simon Paul Islip, 29, of Fernhill, was sentenced to three months' community detention, six months' supervision and 75 hours' community work for assault with intent to injure, on October 14.

Ryan Tamawaru Gwilliam, 21, gib stopper, of Wanaka, was remanded to January 14 for assault and intentional damage on November 6.

Drugs

David James Perrett, 30, plasterer, was convicted and remanded for sentence on January 14 for cultivating cannabis, possessing cannabis plant material and utensils for the purpose of smoking cannabis on November 9.

John Craig Golden, 30, driver, of Frankton, was fined $400 for possessing cannabis and a pipe on November 28.

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Julian Robert Ketchel, 42, was sentenced to six months' supervision and 75 hours' community work for possessing a class B controlled drug, namely opium, on November 24.

Disorderly

Nicholas Robert Kummer, 41, farmer, of Conical Hill, was remanded on bail to Invercargill District Court on December 20 for an application for a discharge without conviction to be considered for behaving in a disorderly manner on October 20.

Darren Rangi Maniapoto, 20, kitchen hand, was fined $150 for behaving in a disorderly manner and wilfully trespassing at a bar within two years of receiving a warning, on November 22.

Offensive

Jeremy Paul Heath, 32, plasterer, of Arrowtown, was fined $150 for behaving in an offensive manner, namely being naked in a hotel, on December 1.

Brendan Jeffery Craw, 22, shepherd, of Whare Creek, was convicted and discharged for offensive behaviour on November 24.

Damage

Leigh McDonald, 32, of Te Anau, was sentenced to 40 hours' community work for wilful damage and speaking threateningly.

Driving

Thomas James Birtwistle, 18, chef, was fined $350 and disqualified from driving for six months for driving dangerously on February 25.

Julie Marie Paull, 41, was fined $350 and disqualified for six months for driving while disqualified on September 18.

Drink-driving

Jason Douglas Bates, 30, truck driver, of Wanaka, was sentenced to 75 hours' community work and disqualified from driving for one year and one day, for driving with a breath alcohol level of 694mcg, having been convicted at least twice previously, on November 2.

David Grahame Thorne, 27, unemployed, of Gibbston, 1017mcg on November 9. Fined $875 and disqualified for six months.

Leah Catherine Wheeler, 33, receptionist, of Lake Hawea, 841mcg on November 16.

Fined $650 and disqualified for six months.

Joshua Michael Burkin, 24, of Cromwell, unemployed, 626mcg and driving while disqualified having been convicted at least twice previously, on November 3. Remanded for sentence on January 14.

Michael John Williams, 40, painter, of Dunedin, 479mcg on November 11. Fined $350 and disqualified for six months.

Jakub Zoubek, 27, chef, Czech national, of Fernhill, 634mcg on November 25. Fined $400 and disqualified for six months.

Jeffrey Alan Norgren, 23, designer, of Canada, 639mcg on November 26. Fined $500 and disqualified for six months.Corey Benedikt Gibson, 18, of Cromwell, 222mcg on November 24. Disqualified for three months.

Ryan Johnson, 18, fencer, British, of Wanaka, 308mcg on November 17. Fined $150 and disqualified for three months.

James Gary Penfold, 27, was sentenced to 75 hours' community work, ordered to pay reparation of $3800 and disqualified for six months for driving with a blood alcohol level of 233mg, and careless driving on October 21.

Thomas Sommerville Maxwell, 24, manager, 106mg on October 10. Fined $550 and disqualified for six months.

Luke William Dawson, 22, of Gore, 173mg, on October 21. Fined $550 and disqualified for six months.

Scott Melhop, 116mg on October 28. Fined $400 and disqualified for six months.

- The Southland Times

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