Convictions substituted

Last updated 12:38 18/07/2013

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Convictions against two Queenstown men involved in a violent group assault and kidnapping have been quashed and substituted by the Court of Appeal.

Brodie O'Rourke, 26, and Michael Phillip Coulter, 25, were sentenced to jail last year by Judge Kevin Phillips in the Queenstown District Court for their part in an assault near Arrowtown in November 2011 after a nightclub drug deal went awry.

O'Rourke's conviction for aggravated wounding was quashed and substituted with a conviction for wounding with intent to injure.

His sentence of three years and three months' jail was reduced to two years and three months' jail.

Coulter's conviction for aggravated wounding was also quashed and substituted with a conviction for wounding with intent to injure.

His sentence of three years' jail was reduced to one year and nine months' jail.

Last month, O'Rourke appeared for his first New Zealand Parole Board hearing and was denied parole.

Panel members described him as a ringleader, if the not the leader, during the offending, in which balaclava-clad O'Rourke headbutted the victim and at one stage held a meat cleaver to a man's throat.

The substituted sentence may alter his parole applicability and he could apply to be seen before the next scheduled appearance in June.

Offending related to a drug deal gone wrong, which Coulter was not part of, and an assault on a man and his girlfriend at the Crown Range intersection.

The male victim was bundled into a car and driven towards Arrowtown then dumped at the side of a road.

Both men were sentenced to 12 months' concurrent jail for kidnap.

Aggravated wounding carries a maximum sentence of 14 years' jail while the maximum sentence for wounding with intent to injure is seven years' jail.

Detailed reasons for the Court of Appeal decision will follow, a court document says.

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- The Southland Times

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