Jail bars for repeat drinkers

Three North Taranaki recidivist drink-drivers have been jailed after running out of chances.

Mark Ian Little, 47, Gary Ian Glossop, 42, and Timothy Craig Hogan, 31, were jailed yesterday after the judge in the New Plymouth District Court rejected pleas for community-based sentences.

In each case the men, on final warnings, were told that if they continued to offend they would be facing even longer jail time.

Judge Allan Roberts noted five of the 10 offenders facing sentencing in court yesterday were repeat drink-drivers, none of whom was caught in the Christmas blitz.

Little was pulled over speeding on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Burgess Park Hill on State Highway 3 southeast of New Plymouth on October 15.

Little was subject to a final warning following his fourth conviction in 2008 when his blood alcohol, at 212mg, was nearly three times the legal limit of 80mg.

He was jailed for two months.

Judge Roberts allowed Little a concession, telling him he would not confiscate his $20,000 Harley Davison. "But from here on the gloves are off. It is unacceptable for you to drink and drive."

Glossop, a welder, had been out of trouble for 10 years, his lawyer Jo Woodcock said. On the night he was caught it was a spur of the moment decision to drive when he was intent on getting his daughter out of a difficult situation.

But Judge Roberts rejected the excuse, which Glossop had failed to share with police on the night.

When Glossop was pulled over in New Plymouth on 18 October, blowing 855mcg, he was on his second final warning after five previous convictions for drunk-driving.

"Your drinking for a long, long time has been problematic. You have been given warning after warning. Today you too go to jail."

Glossop was sentenced to three months' jail after receiving credit for his guilty plea. Special conditions on his release are for him to attend a programme for alcohol and drug dependency.

Hogan, 31, pleaded guilty to his fourth drink-driving charge after being stopped in October, and to intentionally obstructing police in the city on November 23.

Hogan did a U-turn when he saw a police checkpoint on Northgate on October 5. He was chased, pulled over and blew 684mcg.

His lawyer said he had been drinking with friends in the afternoon and thought he was OK to drive after having a meal.

Hogan was sentenced to a total three months' prison.

All three were disqualified from driving for a year.

Jade-Lori Aroha Wharepapa, in her 20s, had also earlier been given a final warning after she was twice arrested in a short space of time for drink-driving.

Her lawyer said Wharepapa, supported in court by a large contingent of friends and family, admitted she was a binge drinker.

She was caught on October 26 when she blew 532mcg while driving to purchase more alcohol.

The judge accepted she was remorseful and embarrassed.

Wharepapa received four months' community detention, nine months' supervision to undergo alcohol and drug treatment and was disqualified from driving for a year.

"If you come back you will get nothing short of 12 months' jail," Judge Roberts said. Her vehicle, in her mother's name, was confiscated.

Sentencing of Raymond Bruce Painter, currently attending residential a drug and alcohol programme, was adjourned until January 23.

Taranaki Daily News