Oamaru man has charges related to assault dismissed
Charges against an Oamaru man who witnesses alleged had threatened a Waitaki District Council official, after abandoned vehicle notices were put on his car, were dismissed in the Timaru District Court on Thursday.
Timothy Van Delden, 34, was appearing in a judge-alone trial before Judge Joanna Maze.
One charge each of common assault and threatening to injure were dismissed after Judge Maze said there were multiple versions of the assault, none of which corroborated the other.
Judge Maze said she also was not able to have confidence in the accounts of the two prosecution witnesses.
In her evidence a Waitaki District Council employee, Tania Goldingham, said on January 20 Van Delden pulled up outside the council building and was "yelling and swearing" into a telephone, while sat in his car, so she spoke to him.
"I said to him while he was talking to people in the way he was, nobody would actually help him ... I said council would call the police."
When she told him to go home, "he called me a f***king dickhead", she said.
"I turned slightly to my right ... he threw his door open and hit me on my leg. He did it with anger, with a lot of force, it hit hard."
She said when a colleague, Vernon Hayes, intervened, Van Delden told Hayes "I'll waste you, old man".
Defence counsel Katherine Henry suggested Hayes had in fact reached into the window of Van Delden's car and grabbed him by the shirt.
Goldingham said that wasn't correct.
In his evidence, Hayes said Van Delden had indeed threatened to "waste" him.
He said Van Delden "very violently and suddenly pushed open the driver's door that hit her [Goldingham] on the leg, with quite a thump".
In his evidence Van Delden said he drove to the Waitaki District Council building because of abandoned vehicle stickers had been placed on three cars parked at his house, and parked outside because he was trespassed from the building.
He called the council and "asked to be put through to the person who had defaced my vehicles".
He made 10 telephone calls because the council staff member had "hung up on me a few times".
Goldingham then approached his vehicle, he said.
"She stuck her head inside the vehicle, said to me 'you need to f***ing grow up', keeping her voice down so other people couldn't hear it."
Hayes subsequently grabbed him by the shirt through the window of the car, he said.
At that point Van Delden said he told Hayes "I would waste you, old man", as he might have had to use "self-defence" on Hayes.
Under cross-examination from prosecutor Lisa Preston, acting on behalf of the Crown, Van Delden said he was yelling at council staff.
"I yell quite often, unfortunately, I was sick of being harassed ... which happens quite often, unfortunately."
Van Delden said "I didn't hit her [Goldingham] with the door, I opened the door and she walked into it".
In dismissing the charges, Judge Maze said she had "at best two versions and at worst three versions" of the alleged assault.
"I am unable to draw comfort in similarities in the accounts of Goldingham and Hayes ... and distress has led to distortions in the minds of the two prosecution witnesses."
Van Delden is set to face further charges relating to separate incidents in the Timaru District Court on Friday.