Time in custody a wake-up call

Last updated 07:12 28/02/2013

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A Frenchwoman remanded in custody last week in Queenstown was further remanded for sentence this week.

Sophie Septille, 30, a cleaner, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Queenstown District Court for driving with a breath alcohol level of 765mcg, dangerous driving, refusing to accompany police and unlawful taking of a vehicle on January 1, assault on January 30 and disorderly behaviour on February 20.

She entered not guilty pleas to unlawful taking of a vehicle and assault and guilty pleas to the remaining charges.

Sergeant Ian Collin said Septille was driving during the early hours of New Year's Day when she veered into the path of an oncoming taxi in Frankton Rd.

She clipped the rear left corner of the taxi with her vehicle and drove on but the taxi driver did a U-turn and followed her until she pulled into a driveway. He then called police.

In Camp St on February 20 police warned Septille when she started verbally abusing officers attending an unrelated incident. She grabbed an officer's wrist and once inside a police van started to kick out.

Lawyer Mike Newell said his client was a graphic designer who was in New Zealand on a working holiday.

A remand in custody for breaching a no- alcohol bail condition was a big wake-up call, he said.

Regarding the disorderly charge he said his client believed she was pregnant and when a maternity test was negative she went out to celebrate.

Police opposed bail. Judge Turner convicted Septille on the guilty charges and remanded the case for sentence and a hearing on the remaining charges on March 26.

He granted bail with strict conditions.

Assault

Gary James Cody, 61, of Arrowtown, was sentenced to 60 hours' community work and ordered to pay $500 reparation for an assault in the New Orleans Hotel on August 24.

Sergeant Ian Collin said Cody asked an off-duty employee to put wood on a fire and the victim told him to leave the staff member alone. The victim was punched twice in the face, splitting his lip.

Lawyer Phena Byrne said the defendant was working late and went to the hotel for a drink when the complainant told him to leave the employee alone and grabbed him by his scarf.

Male assaults female

Michael Patrick McCarthy, 31, of Christchurch, was convicted and remanded for sentence in Durham St court in Christchurch on May 30 on a charge of a male assaulting a female on January 1.

The court was told the victim was his previous partner who had returned to their home in Wanaka during the early hours of New Year's Day. Sergeant Collin said McCarthy confronted her about arriving home at 4.30am. He pushed her to the ground and she struck her head against a glass panel. He also picked up a chair, threw it across a room, grabbed the victim around the neck and wrestled her to the ground. She managed to get free and called police.

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Drugs

Garry James Barnes, 48, company director, was fined $350 for possession of 12.2 grams of cannabis on February 20. Staff at Queenstown Airport found cannabis in Barnes' luggage when he arrived on a flight from Sydney.

Theft

Guillaume Noel Pene, 30, French national, waiter, was fined $250 for stealing a Samsung phone valued at $800 on February 16 when he was employed at The Warehouse.

Wilful damage

Corey Young, 26, painter, of Wanaka, and Timothy David Mackay, 28, of Lake Hawea, were each fined $375 for damaging garden poly-tubing during a drunken night on February 17.

Drink-driving

Kenneth Bruce Wilkins, 40, painter, of Wanaka, was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for seven months for driving with a breath alcohol level of 847mcg on October 27. The legal limit is 400mcg.

- The Southland Times

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