Jail is next for drinker

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 10/03/2014

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A repeat drink-driver has been threatened with a lengthy jail sentence if he continues to get behind the wheel while drunk.

New Plymouth man Raymond Bruce Painter, 57, admitted his fourth drink-driving offence when he appeared in the New Plymouth District Court last week.

He had failed to complete the rehabilitative Bridge Programme after his last conviction because he was threatened by others, his lawyer Kylie Pascoe said.

He had since acknowledged he had a problem.

Judge Allan Roberts said Painter was stopped on Devon Rd on October 11 when he blew 730mcg. The legal limit is 400mcg.

He had already been given a final warning that any future drink driving offences would result in jail.

Painter had a "damning report" from the residential drug rehabilitation Bridge Programme where he lasted little over a week, the judge said.

For some people, like Painter, alcohol was toxic and should not be taken, the judge said.

However, Painter had since engaged in rehabilitation where his counsellor said he had made huge changes around his dependency issues, the judge said.

Judge Roberts said he would not jail Painter but warned him he would give him "nothing short of 12 months' prison" should he return to court.

Painter was sentenced to 350 hours' community work, ordered to attend an alcohol and drug programme, the One for the Road programme and any other deemed suitable. He was disqualified from driving for a year after which he could apply for a three-year zero alcohol licence.

After three months in jail, New Plymouth man Jason Peter Lilly walked out of court a free man after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of possessing methamphetamine.

Lilly, 40, was initially charged with possessing meth for supply.

Last week Lilly's lawyer Julian Hannam told the court drugs clearly had a grip on Lilly's life but he had enforced abstinence while in custody for the last three months and was now keen to change his ways.

Judge Roberts agreed to the three-month sentence allowing Lilly to be released due to time served.

Lilly was given six months supervision to undergo drug rehabilitation.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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