Man avoids jail term after violent attack

An Arrowtown man was sentenced to community detention for a sustained assault when he appeared in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

Michael Allan Rapson, 27, chef, appeared before Judge Phillip Moran for injuring with intent to injure on March 18.

He was sentenced to four months' community detention, 180 hours' community work, 12 months' supervision and ordered to pay emotional harm of $500.

Last month, the court was told the victim was drinking in the New Orleans Hotel in Arrowtown at 11.50pm but was asked to leave.

Rapson took a glass from the victim and used a "full Nelson" hold to walk him towards the exit.

Another man used a headlock on the victim, who was punched while being dragged backwards.

The victim ran into Buckingham St, where he was pushed and shoved by Rapson, who left and went to the village green while the victim returned to the hotel.

After five minutes the men met again as the victim was walking home. Rapson launched at the man but fell short then traded blows until the victim went to ground, where he was repeatedly punched. The victim managed to get up but was followed by Rapson and another man, kicked in the knee, knocked to the ground and punched about the head and body.

A member of the public tried to help but was punched during the attack, which lasted about 20 seconds. The victim, who was unable to work for six weeks, was left motionless on the street and was taken to Southland Hospital with a broken tibia.

The judge said the drunken violence produced significant injury and the starting point was a jail sentence but it appeared the behaviour was out of character and Rapson had suffered personal tragedies.


Alexander George Yeo, 51, of Lake Hawea, appeared for sentence for stealing a donation box containing $40 on May 11, stealing bourbon from Betty's store on July 29, stealing liquor on August 4 and 5, failing to appear in court on August 26 and driving with a breath alcohol level of 487mcg on October 21, having been convicted for drink-driving at least twice previously. Judge Moran said Yeo was in a sorry state and sentenced him to 12 months' supervision, 120 hours' community work and disqualified him from driving for one year and a day.


Clyde Devlin, 50, unemployed, was fined $2000 and disqualified for one day and a year for driving with a breath alcohol level of 803mcg on May 15, having been convicted for drink-driving at least twice previously.

The Southland Times