Pair's jail terms cut after appeals

Last updated 10:59 19/07/2013
Brodie O'Rourke
Fairfax NZ
SENTENCED REDUCED: Brodie O'Rourke.

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

Of seven people sentenced in relation to offending in a layby in November 2011, four sentences were successfully appealed and charges downgraded, charges against two teenagers were dropped and one defendant is awaiting trial.

Last year in the Queenstown District Court, Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Brodie O'Rourke, 26, and Michael Phillip Coulter, 25, to jail for their part in an assault near Arrowtown 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 wounding with intent to injure. His sentence of three years' jail was reduced to one year and nine months' jail.

Coulter had already served 15 months of his sentence and because his reduced sentence was less than two years he was immediately released on the day of the appeal.

Last month, O'Rourke, who was sentenced to 12 months' concurrent jail for kidnap, appeared for his first New Zealand Parole Board hearing and was denied parole. The substituted sentence may alter his parole applicability and he could apply to be seen before the next scheduled appearance in June.

Other defendants convicted or charged in relation to the offending have had changes to their initial sentences or charges dropped. Samuel Gordon Coupe, 28, was sentenced to two years and nine months' jail for wounding with intent to commit a theft by violent means. He was discharged on a charge of kidnap.

However, Justice Christian Whata allowed an appeal, reduced Coupe's charge to wounding with intent to injure and reduced his sentence to one year and nine months' jail. He has served his sentence.

After Coupe's successful appeal, other members of the group followed suit.

Jonathan Charles Burke, 27, was sentenced to two years and two months' jail for wounding with intent to commit a theft by violent means.

Justice Ronald Young, in the High Court in Invercargill, quashed that jail sentence last year, his conviction was reduced to wounding with intent to injure and a sentence of four months' home detention was substituted.

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Daniel John Kissell was sentenced to eight months' home detention and 300 hours' community work for wounding with intent to commit theft. His conviction was also substituted for one of wounding with intent to injure.

Teenagers Brooke Sylvia Carpenter and Charlotte Amelia Spencer Dickson were each discharged when they appeared in the Invercargill District Court in December on charges of aggravated wounding.

Ms Carpenter was also discharged on a charge of kidnapping and Ms Dickson had been earlier discharged on a similar charge.

Rachel Maree Faul, 22, was also discharged on a charge of aggravated wounding but still faces charges of kidnapping, reckless driving on November 26, 2011, and a separate charge of offering to supply class B drug ecstasy on November 25. She is awaiting trial.

The offending related to a drug deal gone wrong and a group assault on a man and his girlfriend at the Crown Range intersection.

- The Southland Times

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