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Neighbour left scared after 'reckless' gun use

Neighbour left scared after 'reckless' gun use

Shooting from a 12-gauge shotgun after having a few beers did not end well for a Tinwald man.

Timotiu Waititi Rugby Lima appeared before Judge Dominic Dravitzki in the Ashburton District Court on Monday on three firearm-related charges.

The 36-year-old was living on a lifestyle block near Seafield Road when he shot off four rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun at about 9pm on January 20, aiming towards trees.

The shots scared a neighbour. She was standing outside when Lima fired the gun and had pellets rain down on her roof.

When the police arrived, they found Lima had consumed more than 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The police confiscated five firearms after obtaining a warrant to search the property.

Lima pleaded guilty to discharging a shotgun near a dwelling, being intoxicated to the extent of not being able to handle a gun, and failing to notify the police of a change of address for a firearm.

Lawyer Gretchen Hart said Lima was a hard-working father of three and was "full of regret" for what he acknowledged was a bad decision to get his firearms out to show friends.

Hart said Lima held a licence, and the guns were all registered.

Lima did not "fully consider" whether the noise would frighten any neighbours and had shot in what he believed to be a safe direction, but had not realised there was a house behind the trees.

Hart said Lima used the guns to provide homekill for his family and an order for the destruction of the weapons would mean Lima was out of pocket by $5000.

She asked the judge to bear that financial penalty in mind when sentencing Lima. Hart also requested that one of the firearms, which belonged to Lima's sister, be excluded from the order for destruction.

Judge Dravitzki wanted evidence that Lima's sister owned the one firearm.

"This is a really reckless use of firearms – there will be an order for the destruction of all the firearms. If he wants items to stand outside this, I want some evidence."

The judge stood the case down to allow Lima's sister to provide a statement and evidence of her gun licence and registration for a Woodstock rifle, which she did.

Judge Dravitzki said he accepted that Lima had no intention to harm or frighten anyone, but found his behaviour "really reckless".

The judge ordered the destruction of the confiscated firearms except the Woodstock rifle owned by Lima's sister.

Judge Dravitzki found that the conviction and loss of firearms licence and weapons was a sufficient penalty. He convicted and discharged Lima without further penalty.

Driving while disqualified

A Mount Somers man has pleaded guilty to two charges of driving while disqualified.

Nathaniel David Leeden, 38, admitted driving while disqualified on Main South Road near Burnham on October 13, 2023, and on Essex Street in Balclutha on December 28.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Leeden now had his medical revocation lifted and could reapply for his licence.

He was remanded to April 22 for sentencing. McRae said Leeden hoped to make an application to avoid further disqualification.

Third drink driving conviction

Driving at over 70kmh in a 50kmh zone landed a Dunedin man with his third drink driving conviction.

Samuel Thomas Hawke, 32, was stopped by police at about 10.30pm on Racecourse Road on February 4.

He admitted having a few drinks and blew 706mcg in a breath test.

Lawyer Gretchen Hart said Hawke had two previous drink driving convictions - one in 2010 and a second in 2016.

She said Hawke had spread his drinks out at a barbeque but miscalculated how much he'd had to drink.

Hawke was working 60 hours a week to keep his business afloat and was using alcohol to help him cope with the stress. Being caught for a third time had encouraged him to seek help.

Hart asked the judge to consider a supervision sentence, disqualification and a fine. However, Judge Dravtizki decided to impose a community work sentence rather than a fine.

"I appreciate that is a significant imposition to you," he noted, but said the sentence needed to have a suitably punitive element.

Hawke was disqualified from driving for one year and one day and sentenced to 90 hours' community work and nine months' supervision.

"If you’re back for this sort of offending the outcome will be significantly different," the judge warned.

First drug offence

A Cavendish man appearing on his first drug offence for low-level dealing was remanded for sentencing.

Kelvin Thomas James Blondell, 24, had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of the possession of cannabis for supply

Police found a total of 80g of cannabis in three packets on October 30 last year and intercepted messages offering to supply small quantities of cannabis.

Lawyer Cory Shaw said Blondell had a new address that was potentially suitable for an electronically monitored sentence.

Judge Dravitzki called for an updated pre-sentence report and remanded Blondell. He will appear again on May 6.

Wounding admitted

A man jointly charged with others over an assault at a local hostel has pleaded guilty.

Marley Otene, 26, admitted wounding a man with reckless disregard for his safety.

Lawyer Grant Fletcher said Otene was "very keen to engage in restorative justice" after the November 30 "altercation at a local hostel".

Judge Dravitzki ordered a restorative justice conference and called for a pre-sentence report.

Otene will appear again on April 22.

Cluster of offending admitted

Oliver Raymond Taylor, 20, pleaded guilty to a raft of charges.

Lawyer Grant Fletcher said Taylor faced "two clusters of traffic and dishonesty matters".

The charges include taking a motor vehicle for his own purposes on December 15 last year and three charges of using a Mobil fuel card.

He also faces four charges of sustained loss of traction in a paddock off Lynn Street, driving while suspended, failing to report an accident and failing to offer assistance to people involved in an accident.

Judge Dravitzki made a referral for restorative justice.

Taylor will appear again on April 22 for sentencing.

Diversion offered

A Hampstead man charged for failing to tell police who was driving his car at the time of an offence has been offered diversion.

Benjamin Galland, 26, will appear again on April 8.

If he completes what the police require for diversion the charges will be withdrawn.

Remanded without plea

A man due to be sentenced for driving while disqualified in October last year was remanded without plea on three new charges.

Richard Jackson Bishop, 24, failed to stop for police on January 20. He was also charged with driving while disqualified on McMurdo Street and blew 1563mcg in a breath test.

He will appear again on March 18.

Not guilty

Latoya Cormick, 32, pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching a protection order but pleaded not guilty to four other charges from the same incident on December 16 last year.

This included a second alleged breach of a protection order and three charges of injuring family members with the intent to injure them.

Cormick elected to have a judge-alone trial.

Judge Dravitzki said the case would need to go back to New Plymouth for a judge-alone trial.

She will appear again in the New Plymouth District Court on April 18.

Arrest warrant

Judge Dravitzki issued an arrest warrant for Joshua Thomas Smith for failing to appear in court.

The 35-year-old was in court in the morning to talk to a duty lawyer but did not return after lunch when his case was called.

Smith faces a charge of stealing a pair of black Slazenger shoes valued at $50 from The Warehouse.

By Sharon Davis