Judge takes dim view of stag-do antics

A farmer whose stag do went awry in Queenstown was remanded for sentence when he appeared in court yesterday.

William Huntly Stuart Jones, 28, of Shannon, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Queenstown District Court charged with criminal damage at the Pig and Whistle pub on January 2. He admitted the charge.

Sergeant Ian Collin said Jones was intoxicated when he was handed a nurse's uniform he had been wearing earlier and tried to set it alight at the bar.

He then approached a group drinking near the entrance to the toilets, set the clothing alight and threw the smouldering nurse's uniform at a table.

Next, he went into the women's toilets to a cubicle and set fire to a toilet roll in a large plastic cover.

The pub was evacuated and staff managed to extinguish the fire on a busy night during the holidays, the court was told.

Jones told police he was "having a laugh" but Judge Turner referred to the Brazilian nightclub fire at the weekend in which more than 200 people died.

"You deliberately set fire to items in this bar. I regard this as serious offending."

The judge called for a pre-sentence report to address community detention and ordered Jones not to consume alcohol or enter licensed premises. He was remanded on bail for sentence on March 11.

The Southland Times