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Pleas reversed at sentencing

Pleas reversed at sentencing

Netherby woman Marjorie Leeann Gill has admitted a pair of charges she previously denied, and will now face sentencing for five dishonesty and Medicines Act crimes.

Gill appeared before Community Magistrate Sally O’Brien, initially for sentencing on shoplifting and theft charges, in the Ashburton District Court on Thursday.

The 45-year-old had previously admitted stealing a top from an Ashburton store, taking a puffer jacket and stealing a donation box from the Ashburton District Council – although she had disputed the stated value of $100 in the donation box.

Gill had also denied charges of having medicine not in a container conforming to the Medicines Act on September 21 and denied a joint charge of stealing groceries worth $32.75 from BP Connect on July 30.

On Thursday her lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said she had reached an agreement with police and accepted the value in the donation box was $50.

Gill also wanted to vacate the two earlier not-guilty pleas and admit the charges, she said.

However, Lorrigan-Innes said Gill should only be liable for half the reparation for the items taken from the BP Connect store because it was a joint charge with another person.

She asked the magistrate for a new sentencing date for all five charges, and requested a pre-sentence report.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said Gill had been “very busy of late” and asked the magistrate to impose additional bail conditions.

This included not consuming alcohol or illicit drugs, not to go to Mode Boutique, BP Connect in Ashburton, the Ashburton District Council, and not to go to Ashburton Hospital unless it was for urgent care appointments.

O’Brien said she had entered Gill’s guilty pleas on all five charges. She called for a pre-sentence report and a drug and alcohol assessment and added the requested bail conditions.

Gill will appear for sentencing on these charges on February 2 next year.

Expensive skiing trip

A young man eager to hit the slopes was clocked driving at 138kmh – while banned from getting behind the wheel.

Tane JP Haremate, of Christchurch, was caught speeding by police on Arundel Rakaia Gorge Road on September 3. Police also discovered the 19-year-old was driving while disqualified.

His lawyer Claire Yardley said Haremate was fined $400 and issued 50 demerit points for speeding, and was in court on the driving while disqualified charge.

Haremate was disqualified on July 10 for excess demerit points – most of them from speeding.

Yardley said Haremate wanted to go skiing and couldn’t find anyone to drive him.

“He has a problem with the accelerator and his left foot. If he hadn’t been speeding he might not have been apprehended,” she said.

O’Brien said Haremate had no excuse to be behind the wheel.

“You chose to drive because you wanted to go skiing. Having a driver’s licence is a privilege, not a right. You are going to need to get your priorities right.”

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

Second drink driving conviction

A stop at a cash machine landed a Netherby man with his second drink driving conviction.

Antonio Collins, 40, was stopped by police on Moore Street on August 27 after they saw him driving at night without his headlights on and failing to stop at a stop sign.

He blew 507 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath.

His lawyer Gretchen Hart said Collins had consumed a couple of beers. He was driving a friend home and stopped at a cash machine on the way.

Once back in the car, he pulled out before switching on his headlights and did not come to a complete stop at the stop sign.

He treated it “as more of a give way sign” and that drew the attention of the police.

Collins had one previous drink driving conviction from seven years ago.

“On this occasion, it was an error of judgement – he thought he would be under the limit,” she said.

O’Brien fined him $850, plus court costs, and disqualified Collins from driving for six months.

Case remanded

A young man from the Clutha District had his drink driving charge remanded to allow him to escape a criminal record.

Jamie Lee Davey-Dryden, 19, admitted a charge of drink driving while under the age of 20.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said Davey-Dryden was on a learner's licence.

Whyte said he would consider an application for a discharge without conviction provided Davey-Dryden got his restricted licence and completed a defensive driving course before his next court appearance.

His case was remanded to December 14 to give him a chance to avoid a criminal record.

First offence

Ashburton police nabbed a drink driver on his way to the bottle store.

Timothy Richard Chapman, 37, of Tinwald, was stopped by police on Archibald Street on September 28. A blood test showed Chapman had 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Chapman had a few drinks after work, had not eaten lunch or dinner, and agreed to drive a friend home via the bottle store.

“While he shouldn’t have been driving it is only just over the threshold for being charged,” Hart said.

O’Brien said Chapman was stopped at 8.45pm. While it was “not at the high levels that the court often sees, you knew you had been drinking and made the decision to get behind the wheel”.

Chapman was disqualified from driving for six months, fined $400, and ordered to pay court costs and the blood analysis fee.

Remanded without plea

Allenton man Scott James Dolamore, 26, was remanded without plea on a charge of drink driving.

Dolamore blew 571mcg in a breath test on East Street on September 15.

His lawyer Cory Shaw said Dolamore potentially faced an interlock sentence which could see him lose his job, and asked the magistrate for a remand without plea to allow him to explore his client's legal options.

Dolamore will appear again on November 16.

“You will be expected to enter a plea on that date,” O’Brien said.

She added a new bail condition that Dolamore can only drive with zero alcohol in his system.

Convicted and discharged

Zachary David Glover, 29, admitted breaching a community work sentence.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said Glover had been sentenced to 125 hours’ community work in 2020 on two charges of driving while disqualified, and had a further 75 hours imposed for converted fines.

McRae said he had travelled from Methven to Christchurch and “knocked off” a lot of hours. However, Glover worked full time and had recently signed up for a charity boxing event and was also training three days a week. As a result, his commitment to complete his community work had “fallen slightly off”.

O’Brien said Glover had 22 hours of community work remaining.

Glover was convicted and discharged for breaching his community work sentence.

Driving while suspended

Methven man Joseva Baleivotua, 40, admitted driving while suspended on Havelock Street on August 13.

His lawyer, Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said Baleivotua had no previous criminal history and said she planned to apply for a discharge without conviction.

She said Baleivotua was on a resident visa and there was a chance he would be served with a deportation notice if he was convicted of a crime that carried a three-month or higher jail term.

He will appear again on February 2.

Sentence converted

A 25-year-old Mayfield dairy worker had her community work sentence changed to community detention.

Georgina Grace Chirnside was stopped by police on June 1 on the Christchurch southern motorway and was found to be driving while disqualified.

She was moving between farms on the traditional farm moving day and had nobody to drive for her.

The mandatory disqualification was converted into a sentence of 60 hours' community work because of Chirnside’s remote location, and backdated to start after the calving season.

However, Chirnside had since applied to convert the sentence to community detention.

O’Brien converted the sentence to a $400 fine and one month of community detention at a new address in Sheffield.

Drink driving admitted

Allenton man Tristan Mark Hawtin, 38, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving on Moore Street on July 15.

A blood test showed he had 150mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

He will appear again on December 14.


O'Brien issued three arrest warrants for people who failed to appear in the Ashburton District Court on Thursday.

Marcario Bron Bravo, 24, failed to appear on a charge of breaching a supervision sentence.

Nathan Edward King, 35, failed to appear on two charges of petrol drive-offs.

Tanesha Sheree Tiepa, 43, failed to appear on a charge of breaching a community work sentence.

By Sharon Davis