Farmhand spared community work

An Opunake man celebrated his 21st birthday in court yesterday and left with a fine as his parting gift.

In the Hawera District Court, Alexander Raymond Edward Rayner pleaded guilty to one charge of excess breath alcohol and one of dangerous driving.

The charges stemmed from an incident in Stratford on January 8 when Rayner was seen driving at high speed along Rosalind St and performing skids and burnouts.

After being stopped by police, who were called by a concerned member of the public, the farmhand was breath-tested and returned a result of 720mcg.

Lawyer Kelly Marriner said Rayner had no previous convictions and was supported in court by his grandfather, who had offered to help him pay off any fine imposed.

Judge Allan Roberts said he had considered a community work sebtence, but Rayner's lack of criminal history and the oversight provided by the grandfather allowed him to step back from that.

Judge Roberts disqualified Rayner from driving for six months and imposed fines of $500 on the excess breath alcohol charge and $250 on the dangerous driving charge.

Court costs of $130 were also imposed on each charge.

The judge warned Rayner he wanted the fines paid by the end of the week or the matter would be referred back to him.

Taranaki Daily News