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Six times over the legal limit

Six times over the legal limit

After failing to pull over for police, a Tinwald man was caught driving more than six times the legal limit.

Richard Jackson Bishop, 24, appeared before Judge Dominic Dravitzki in the Ashburton District Court on Monday.

Bishop changed his plea to a charge of driving while disqualified on Grahams Road on October 29, 2023, from not guilty to guilty.

He also appeared on three new charges including drink driving and a second charge of driving while disqualified on McMurdo Street on January 20.

Police allege Bishop failed to stop for the flashing red and blue lights and blew 1563 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath when he did stop.

Lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said Bishop had referred himself for alcohol counselling.

Judge Dravitzki said the combination of alleged facts in the charges Bishop faced amounted to serious offending, especially the high alcohol reading.

Bishop was remanded on bail without plea on the three new charges. His bail conditions include not to drive and not to consume alcohol. He will appear again on March 4.

Car damaged in frustration

A car was damaged in alcohol-fueled frustration in November last year when an intoxicated Willowby got annoyed with someone who called him out over his behaviour.

Shaun Euan Hope, 41, appeared for sentencing for intentionally damaging a Toyota on November 25 last year.

Judge Dravitzki said Hope was at a function and got into an argument after a man called him out on some inappropriate behaviour.

He was "badly affected by alcohol and behaved in an obnoxious way", the judge said.

Hope attempted to have a physical confrontation. When that didn't happen he picked up a broom and smashed the windscreen and wing mirror of the man's car.

When he spoke to police after the incident, he admitted taking his frustration out on the car.

Hope had some "previous conviction history which suggests issues with alcohol," the judge said.

Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Hope had attended a restorative justice conference, apologised to the victim, and paid $700 for the damage caused and for emotional harm.

"He has not appeared [in court] for 12 years and was disappointed to be back."

Hart said Hope had made significant life changes since the event and self-referred for alcohol counselling.

Judge Dravitzki sentenced Hope to six months' supervision.

Charges denied

Two Christchurch men jointly charged, along with a third man, for the possession of items to commit a burglary have denied the charges.

The police allege both men were found with balaclavas, write cutters, a torch and a bolt cutter which they intended to use to commit a burglary on January 13. Both also face a charge of possessing a glass pipe for the use of methamphetamine.

Paul Bradford, the lawyer for Christchurch man Jacob Terry Merrilees, 27, said police had not disclosed all the evidence they had against Merrilees. He asked for Merrilees to be remanded with "deemed not guilty" pleas - which is similar to not entering a plea, but means the case does not have to be remanded - to allow time to consider the police evidence.

The second man, Kane Phillip McClintock, 33, faces additional charges for the possession of a small amount of meth, a flick knife, a knuckle duster, and seven rounds of ammunition in a public place.

McClintock pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Both men elected to have judge-alone trials and will appear again on April 8.

Speeding while disqualified

Driving over the speed limit attracted some unwanted police attention for a disqualified driver.

Kenneth Walter-Job, 28, was travelling at 114kmh on the Temuka-Orari Highway near Winchester. He was found to be driving while disqualified when stopped by police on September 28 last year.

Judge Dravitzki said Walter-Job was "accumulating a poor driving history" with a fourth conviction for driving while disqualified within five years.

The judge said Walter-Job had previously said community work "would be difficult" because he lived rurally.

"Too bad, you’re just going to get it done," the judge said.

Walter-Job was sentenced to 200 hours' community work and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

The start point for sentencing for a fifth driving while disqualified conviction is about eight months in prison, the judge warned.

Drink driving admitted

Patrick Minhinnick, 47, pleaded guilty to his fifth drink driving charge and fourth charge of driving while disqualified.

The Leeston man was stopped by police on Main Rakaia Road on January 27 and was found to be driving while disqualified and contrary to his zero alcohol licence.

Minhinnick blew 575mcg in a breath test. He will appear for sentencing on April 8.

Driving offences

A judge warned that repeat driving offences were "approaching sentences in prison".

Cullen Patrick Shortland, 24, stopped for some beers after work on November 2 last year before driving home - and ended up with a drink driving conviction after blowing 506mcg and a charge for driving while disqualified.

Shortland was stopped again on the Southern Motorway in Rolleston on December 16, 2023, for a minor vehicle fault and racked up a further driving while disqualified charge.

Lawyer Cory Shaw said Shortland had "issues with impulsivity" and had "little explanation for the offending".

Judge Dravitzki said Shortland was "developing a concerning history of driving when you shouldn't" and had two prior drink-driving convictions.

The starting point for the November offence was two months in jail, with a further two months for the December offence, and a reduction of one month for an early guilty plea, the judge said.

Judge Dravitzki said he could convert that to an electronically monitored sentence but said the seriousness of offending was "approaching sentences in prison".

Shortland was given an interlock disqualification and sentenced to four months' community detention with a curfew of 7pm to 3am.

Not guilty

A 68-year-old man pleaded not guilty to a charge of drink driving to allow his lawyer to explore whether a private driveway is legally considered a road.

Allan William Shepherd blew 908mcg on December 30 last year after the car he was driving went down a bank.

Lawyer Paul Bradford said Shepherd had no intention of being on the road and was on a private driveway when he "misjudged matters and fell down a bank.

"He had no intention to be driving on a road – the question is whether he was."

Shepherd will appear again on April 22.

Diesel theft

Siphoning diesel alongside a "concerning history of dishonesty" earned a Surrey Hills man a large amount of community work.

Niko James Simonsen, 25, admitted stealing diesel worth $240 from an irrigator on a farm on October 10 last year.

Lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said Simonsen was now willing to consent to have his address assessed for an electronically monitored sentence.

But Judge Dravitzki said it was too late.

"I’m going to sentence him to community work and lots of community work."

The judge said Simonsen was caught stealing 82 litres of diesel on CCTV and took off when the victim came to confront him.

Simonsen had two recent relevant dishonesty convictions and the judge said he intended to take that recent relevant history into account.

"You’re developing a concerning history of dishonesty," the judge said.

He ordered Simonsen to pay $240 in reparation and sentenced him to 180 hours' community work.

Petrol drive-offs admitted

Nathan Edward King, 35, admitted two petrol drive-offs, a charge of shoplifting, possession of a pipe for meth, and failing to appear in court.

Lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said King's offending was driven by addiction and necessity – he was homeless, living in his car at the time.

Judge Dravitzki said King had been out of court since 2015. He acknowledged that King's offending "arose out of difficulties with addiction" but said that was not an excuse.

He sentenced King to nine months' supervision and 40 hours' community work – plus an additional 80 hours of community work to remit more than $3200 in fines. King was also ordered to pay reparation for the fuel and groceries at $5 a week.

Intentional damage admitted

A Chertsey man who had earlier denied more than 10 charges from an incident in last year has changed his plea on three charges.

Nicholas James Boulden, 36, pleaded guilty to three charges of intentional damage on October 7, 2023, but continued to defend the other charges including breaching a protection order, family violence, threatening to kill two dogs and possessing a firearm when his licence was revoked.

Boulden elected a judge-alone trial. He was remanded on bail and will appear again on April 3.

By Sharon Davis