Two years, eight months jail for 10th drink drive, gun threats
A man who took a work van without permission for a drunken jaunt to his ex-wife's house has been jailed for two years and eight months.
It was drink-drive conviction number 10 for Sukhdev Bassi, also known as Sukhdev Singh, when he appeared for sentence in the Hamilton District Court on Friday.
As well as the drink-driving charge, Bassi faced charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified, speaking threateningly and presenting a firearm at another person.
It was 11am on Sunday, June 4, when the heavily intoxicated 49-year-old Cambridge man was at Granite Worx in Carters Crescent, where he had recently been employed as a casual labourer, lifting and polishing bench tops.
He got the keys for an LDV van from the workshop and drove it to his ex-wife's home in St Kilda Road.
As soon as he arrived, she ordered him to leave. He drove back to the workshop.
In the meantime, the police had been called. At 12.40pm they found him wandering in Carters Crescent. He was breath-tested and returned a reading of 1020 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath - more than four times the legal driving limit.
The firearm and threats charges related to an incident that took place three days earlier in a house in St Kilda Road, when Bassi was again extremely intoxicated.
One of the occupants of the house had returned home to find him sitting on a couch, holding a .177 calibre slug pistol. Bassi pointed the gun at him with his finger on the trigger and spoke threateningly to him before the victim fled from the scene.
A victim impact statement provided to the court described Bassi as a kind man when sober, but prone to anger, violence and depression when he drank alcohol. There was no address available for home detention.
He had pleaded guilty to his charges and had written a statement for the court in which he spoke of his remorse and his determination to address his alcohol problem.
As well as his jail sentence, Judge David Wilson QC also indefinitely disqualified Bassi from driving.
If and when he gets his licence back, he will be subject to a zero alcohol licence for the following three years.