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Drug addiction fuels offending

Drug addiction fuels offending

A man admitted "going around in circles" in the grips of a drug addiction when he appeared in the Ashburton District Court on Monday.

Samuel Alexander Bennett, 30, changed his not guilty pleas to guilty on a raft of charges, including receiving stolen items and possessing pipes for cannabis and methamphetamine (meth), as well as more than 200 rounds of ammunition.

The 30-year-old told Judge Jane Farish that he has been "going in circles" for years as a result of his addiction and had self-referred to a 15-week drug rehabilitation programme,

Lawyer Cory Shaw said Bennett's offending was "driven by addiction".

The Wakanui man was charged in September for possessing a glass bong for smoking cannabis, two meth pipes, a knuckle duster, 181 12-gauge shotgun rounds, 38 rounds of .22 and 19 rounds of .243 ammunition.

Bennett also admitted receiving two push bikes worth $1500 and $6800 as well as a Makita planer.

Judge Farish said she was impressed that Bennett had self-referred to St Marks.

Bennett will appear again on February 19.

Indefinite disqualification

A young man caught drink driving twice within 24 hours was given an indefinite disqualification.

Twenty-year-old Riley Lynton Molloy appeared for sentencing on four driving-related charges.

He blew 767 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when breath tested by police on Cambridge Street on September 24.

Molloy was disqualified from driving and charged with initially refusing to accompany police.

Later on the same day he was stopped by police on Wellington Street for drink driving and driving while his licence was revoked. A blood test showed he had 231 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Judge Farish said the level of alcohol was "very high" for a person under 20 and concerning that he committed the same offence twice in 24 hours.

She commended Molloy on his response to being charged and seeing footage of how intoxicated he was.

"You are changing and have a far healthier attitude toward alcohol now."

Judge Farish said Molloy had to be indefinitely disqualified. He would only be able to get a licence with approval from the minister for transport 12 months from the date of the disqualification. The judge back-dated the disqualification to Molloy's first appearance on this charge in September.

"It will put you under stress but with the support of your family you should be able to get through."

The judge said Molloy had responded well to a current sentence of supervision from earlier driving charges. She sentenced him to nine months' community detention with a curfew of 9pm to 6am and nine months' supervision

The judge told Molloy that was to "keep you at home at night and ensure you continue the work you’re doing" on supervision.

Judge Farish remitted the $1600 Molloy had in outstanding fines as part of his sentence.

Charge admitted

Niko James Simonsen, 25, admitted entering a farm with intent to commit an offence relating to some farm machinery on October 10.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said $240 was sought in reparation.

Simonsen will appear for sentencing on February 19.

Interlock sentence

A young Elgin man was caught over four times the legal limit.

Tory Peter Christie, 21, was given an interlock sentence for his first drink driving offence after having a few shots of vodka.

He blew 854 mcg when stopped by police on Walnut Avenue.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Christie was driving late at night to pick up a friend but accepts he shouldn't have been driving.

Judge Farish said Christie was "over four times the legal limit.

"You're just starting out in life. You need to put this negative behaviour behind you and start being complaint."

Christie was fined $700 and given an interlock sentence, which effectively means he will need to drive with zero alcohol in his system for four years after an initial 28-day disqualification.

Drink driving admitted

Cullen Patrick Shortland, 24, admitted drink driving and driving while indefinitely disqualified.

He was stopped by police on Albert Street on November 2.

Judge Farish ordered an alcohol and drug assessment and a pre-sentence report.

Shortland will appear for sentencing on February 19.

Driving while disqualified

A 66-year-old man was given time to get his restricted licence before sentencing.

Hampstead man Gary David Snelling admitted two charges of driving while disqualified.

He was stopped by police on the Rakaia Highway near Ashburton on November 7 and again on Main South Road in Rolleston on November 23.

Snelling is currently disqualified from driving until December 18.

He was remanded for sentencing on February 5 to give him time to get his restricted licence.

Suspended sentence

A young Mitcham man was given a suspended sentence on charges of possessing ammunition and cannabis paraphernalia.

Kane Tuirirangi, 22, pleaded guilty to possessing seven rounds of ammunition and items for the use of cannabis on December 1, after police withdrew an additional charge of possessing cannabis.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Tuirirangi had been hunting with friends who had a firearm licence. When he found the 308 and .22 rounds in his pocket he took them out and left them in his car.

Judge Farish accepted Tuirirangi's explanation for the ammunition and advised him that it would be best not to use cannabis,

She convicted Tuirairangi, gave him a suspended sentence and ordered the destruction of the ammunition and the glass bong and grinder.

Intentional damage

A Willowby man who admitted intentionally damaging a windscreen was remanded to allow for a restorative justice meeting.

Shaun Euan Stevenson, 41, will appear again on February 5, 2024.

$1000 fine

Drinking as a way to deal with some bad relationship news landed a Mt Somers man with a $1000 fine and an interlock sentence.

Mark Burden, 63, was stopped by police on Carneys Road on October 3. He blew 899mcg in a breath test.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Burden had some "upsetting news" about a relationship which caused him to drink heavily.

"He's disappointed to find himself back before the court," she said.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said it was Burden's second drink driving conviction - the first was in 2018 with a reading of over 1000mcg.

Judge Farish said Burden was stopped at 11.45am which meant he would have been "really intoxicated" the night before.

He was slapped with a fine "with a sting in the tail ($1000) to reflect the fact it is your second offence" and given an interlock sentence.

Suspended sentence

A Rakaia man battling addiction issues was given a suspended sentence for breaching his sentence of supervision.

Aaron Geoffrey Laurence Clark, 40, admitted failing an alcohol and blood test twice and refusing to provide a sample for testing on another occasion.

Both tests were positive for cannabis and alcohol and one also had a positive result for methamphetamine.

Clark's lawyer Paul Bradford said Clark accepted he had an issue with cannabis and alcohol but had "no idea how the meth got there".

Clark was now living with his father, he said.

Judge Farish said dealing with addiction was "sometimes a one step forward, one step back process".

She said Clark was making progress since he had moved back with his dad.

Clark was convicted and given a suspended sentence, which means no further penalty unless Clark is back in court for a similar offence within 12 months.

Drink driving

Sharing some drinks after helping a friend landed a Tinwald man with his second drink driving conviction.

Gene David Shurrock, 48, blew 822mcg when stopped by police on Racecourse Road on November 26.

His lawyer, Paul Bradford, said Shurrock had one previous drink driving conviction from more than 25 years ago and asked Judge Farish to treat this as Shurrock's first offence.

The judge said Shurrock was a mature man. "You should know better," she said.

He was fined $750, given an interlock sentence and six months' supervision.

Remanded without plea

Joshua David Murison, 56, appeared on a charge of breaking into an Ashburton home to intimidate the resident.

He was remanded without plea to seek legal advice and will appear again on January 22.

Community work cancelled

A Rakaia man who was sentenced to 100 hours' community work to remit over $3000 in outstanding fines admitted breaching his community work sentence.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Kyle Richard Wilson, 48, worked every second Saturday and did not have a car - and struggled to complete his community work as a result.

Judge Farish said Wilson had completed about 40 hours of his 100 hours sentence. She fined him $1000 for the breach of his community work - which she noted amounted to about a third of Wilson's fines.

Released on bail

A man with a history of failing to appear in court spent nearly three weeks in jail after turning up for court a day late.

Moari Jordan Campbell, 22, pleaded guilty to four new charges of failing to appear in court in Hastings and more recently in Ashburton.

He had earlier admitted to getting into a Nissan vehicle in Hastings in December 2022 and a breach of his community work sentence in August last year.

His lawyer Paul Bradford said Campbell had turned up for court a day late and had been in custody for nearly three weeks.

He asked the judge to consider a sentence of supervision to allow Campbell to go to City Mission. "They do not accept people on bail," he said.

Judge Farish said Campbell's history of non-compliance was so bad she queried whether he was capable of complying.

"He keeps on not appearing – the whole sentencing process has taken 12 months," she said.

Sergeant Whyte said he expected Campbell to fail on a sentence of supervision.

"He's never once appeared on his own cognisance."

Judge Farish said Campbell did not have "much of a criminal history" and was charged with "really low-level offending" but had not engaged with anyone over the last 12 months.

The judge decided to give Campbell the chance to engage and gave him a 12-month supervision sentence.

"If you don’t go to supervision you are going to go into custody" with a prison sentence of more than six months, she said.

Charges denied

Brandon Lee Farr-Wilson denied a charge of family violence on December 3.

The 30-year-old opted for a jury trial and will appear again on February 5.

Arrest warrants

Judge Farish issued four arrest warrants for people who failed to appear in court on Monday.

Timaru man Kayden Bennett, 20, failed to appear on a charge of driving while suspended.

Ranginui Teariki Oneone, 37, failed to appear on a charge of threatening to kill in Wairoa.

Anatoliy Burakov, 51, failed to appear on a charge of drink driving.

James Jay Mavor, 35, failed to appear on a charge of driving while disqualified.

By Sharon Davis