RSE worker loses job before his day in court
A seasonal worker who drunkenly groped a teenager in Blenheim has lost his job and must return home to Vanuatu.
Amos Hungai Tungon, 45, was in the country on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme when he got drunk on August 18.
He approached a 17-year-old girl at Seymour Square and suggested they "get together", a police summary said.
The teenager went into the public toilets, and when she came out, Tungon grabbed her breast as she walked past, about 10.30pm.
The teenager hit Tungon and ran away as he mumbled an apology, the summary said.
She called police, who found Tungon a short distance away. Tungon told police he was just joking around.
The incident prompted police to warn the public about getting home safely at night.
Tungon was charged with indecent assault, which he admitted at the Blenheim District Court on Monday.
Judge David Ruth said Tungon had already lost his job and would be sent home for breaching his RSE contract by drinking alcohol.
He would be unable to reapply for a new RSE visa for five years, Judge Ruth said.
Tungon had lost the ability to provide for his family, and had likely brought shame to them, a serious social penalty in Vanuatu, the judge said.
"If I convict and sentence you, not only will you have a five-year gap to contend with, but you will be prevented from coming back [to New Zealand] at all."
Judge Ruth considered the seriousness of the offence and the possible effect of a conviction on Tungon before deciding to discharge him without conviction, on the condition he make an immediate emotional harm payment of $750 to the teenager.
Tungon made the payment on Monday afternoon.
- The Marlborough Express