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Petrol stolen to get wife to hospital

Petrol stolen to get wife to hospital

A 66-year-old man stolen petrol more than 20 times to help take his terminally ill wife to medical appointments, a court has heard.

Gary David Snelling admitted five charges of stealing petrol when he appeared in the Ashburton District Court on Thursday.

The Hampstead man had already been given a sentence of supervision for 19 similar charges in September.

Duty lawyer Claire Yardley said the five new charges occurred before Snelling’s recent sentence.

They were charges of taking fuel worth $40 from NPD on Moorhouse Ave on March 24, $15 worth of petrol from the BP in Rolleston on August 10 and taking fuel valued at $2, and two lots worth $20 from Z Ashburton on August 12, September 2, and September 7.

Yardley said Snelling’s wife was terminally ill and he was stealing petrol to get her to Christchurch for medical appointments.

His wife has since been admitted to Ashburton Hospital, she said.

Community Magistrate Sally O’Brien said Snelling’s sentence would have been no different if the charges had been in the system in September.

She decided to impose no further penalty, other than reparation for the stolen fuel.

Interlock sentence

A Hinds man was given an interlock sentence for his first drink driving offence after being caught at almost four times the legal limit.

Lucas Nathan Parker, 20, admitted drink driving on Tancred Street on October 14.

He blew 958mcg of alcohol per litre of breath in a breath test.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said it was Parker’s first drink driving offence but the level of alcohol made it an “interlock issue”.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Parker was drinking at a local establishment in town and was driving to a friend’s place where he planned to stay the night.

The summary of facts said he was the sober driver, but Parker maintained there was nobody else in the car.

“He acknowledges it was a poor decision on his part. He has learnt from this.”

O’Brien said Parker was driving on Tancred Street at 2.10am with just his parking lights on. He was almost four times the legal limit with an “extremely high” reading.

“There was no way it was safe for you to be behind the wheel,” she said.

Parker was given an alcohol interlock sentence and a $450 fine.

“You’re going to have at least four years of not driving with any alcohol in your system,” the magistrate said.

Drink driving charge

A decision to shift his car from a driveway to the street earned a Hampstead man a drink driving charge.

Dontae Mati Mamapo Misa blew 771mcg when police stopped him on Princes Street in Ashburton on September 30.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Misa was drinking at a friend’s house and planned to stay the night with another friend a few houses away - and had no intention of driving.

However, his car was behind another vehicle in the driveway and he moved the car from the driveway to the street when police stopped him.

Sergeant Whyte said he could consider accepting that Misa was only moving the car if he got his restricted licence before his next court date. This would reduce the period of suspension Misa faced.

He was remanded on bail with conditions to drive with zero alcohol and to comply with his licence conditions.

Misa will appear again on February 2.

Case remanded

A Selwyn woman was given the chance to get her licence before being sentenced.

Juanita Mary Mitchell, 27, admitted driving while suspended on Railway Terrace on August 12.

She was remanded to give her a chance to get her restricted licence.

Mitchell will appear again on December 14.

Breach of interlock

A woman who was too embarrassed to go back to Work and Income after she lost some paperwork has been fined and disqualified from driving.

Kylie Rose Kauriki Paul, 36, admitted driving contrary to an interlock licence.

Duty lawyer Claire Yardley said Paul had applied to Work and Income for a subsidy to get an interlock device fitted to her car. She was granted a subsidy but lost the paperwork authorising payment.

“She was embarrassed about losing it and didn’t feel she could ask for another.”

Yardley said Paul generally did not drive but had driven to pick up family from the airport when she was stopped by police in Rolleston on July 13.

She had a medical condition and was waiting for surgery and unable to do community work.

O’Brien disqualified Paul from driving for six months and fined her $300.

Disqualification and fine

A courier driver has ended up with more time off the road for speeding while suspended from driving.

Mervyn Kerry Anthony Smith, 48, had earlier admitted driving while suspended on May 19.

His lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said Smith was the father of seven children and a single dad to four of them.

He had been suspended from driving in April due to demerits.

Smith had two of his children in the car and was rushing to Dunedin Hospital to see his daughter, who had been admitted.

He accepted he does have a significant driving record and plans to do a defensive driving course, Lorrigan-Innes said.

O’Brien said Smith had a “pressing family obligation and made a choice to drive”.

She said there was “a lot of speeding” in Smith’s driving history but as a courier driver, he was on the road more than most.

O’Brien said Smith was spending a lot of his income paying for speeding fines.

“The sooner you change your attitude to the road rules the better,” she said.

Smith was disqualified from driving for six months and fined $400 plus court costs of $130.

Breach denied

A man who has not done any community work for eight months has pleaded not guilty to a charge of breaching his community work sentence.

The court was told that Kyle Richard Wilson, 48, had not reported for community work since February and had over 64 work hours outstanding.

He was given a community work sentence on November 15, 2022, for nearly $4000 in unpaid fines.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Wilson denied the charge.

"His position is he’s had reasonable excuses and has communicated these to probation."

She said Wilson lived in Rakaia and did not have a vehicle, which made it difficult for him to get into town to do community work.

He worked some Saturdays and with things being "difficult financially" he was reluctant to forgo work on Saturdays.

"He has debt he also needs to pay and was having difficulty juggling all those things."

McRaie said Wilson was prepared to do community work every second Saturday.

O'Brien said Wilson had opposed an application to cancel his community work and be resentenced.

"He hasn't made any effort to resolve this for right months. He hasn't left himself any options at all."

O'Brien remanded Wilson to December 11 for a case review before a district court judge.

Drink driving admitted

Allenton man Akashdeep Singh, 26, admitted his first charge of drink driving.

He was stopped by police on West Street on September 1 and blew 447mcg.

Singh was remanded without conviction to apply for a discharge without conviction and to allow him to return to India for his wedding in December.

He will appear again on February 2 next year.

Failed to appear

Allenton man Joshua Thomas Smith, 34, failed to appear in court on a charge of failing for stop for police on August 14.

The court was told that Smith had sent in an email with a photo of his car stuck in a river.

His case was remanded to November 16.

By Sharon Davis