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Surprised to be alive after crash

Surprised to be alive after crash

A Waimakariri resident is surprised to have survived an accident outside Longbeach School in Willowby.

Twenty-two-year-old Taylor Kane O’Loughlin pleaded guilty to a charge of driving carelessly on June 28 when he appeared before community magistrate Sally O'Brien in the Ashburton District Court on Tuesday.

Duty lawyer Claire Yardley said O’Loughlin was still surprised that he survived the crash.

"He was lucky to walk away from incident alive. It has motivated him to leave amphetamines behind."

Yardley said there had been rumours that O’Loughlin had tried to kill himself but that was not true.

He'd had a "difficult evening" with his girlfriend. He left the house but his girlfriend followed him, so he decided to leave the property.

Yarldley said O’Loughlin had lost some of his memory in the crash but remembered "feeling upset and angry - and then took to the road."

O'Brien said tests found O’Loughlin was under influence of alcohol and amphetamines.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said the bus company wanted $2500 reparation for the insurance excess for the damaged bus and the school wanted $2008 toward the repair of the fence.

Yardley said she had told O’Loughlin that he could also face civil charges from the insurance company for the damage to the bus.

O'Brien requested a pre-sentence drug and alcohol assessment and a restorative justice referral.

O’Loughlin will appear again on November 16

Celebration ends badly

A celebration for passing his New Zealand electrical certification ended badly for a new immigrant.

Brenden Grobler, 39, pleaded guilty to drink driving on May 23.

Duty Lawyer Tiffany McRae said Grobler was out celebrating with a friend after passing his electrical certification and decided to drive home at about 11pm.

On the way home, Grobler became concerned about the two occupants of another car and flashed his lights so he could speak to them.

After speaking to them Grobler drove off and the occupants of the other car, concerned that Grobler had been drinking, called the police, McRae said.

He blew 909 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath in a breath test.

"There is no way you were safe to be behind the wheel," O'Brien said.

Grobler was given an alcohol interlock sentence and fined $450 plus $130 in court costs.

Expensive pack of cigs

A Hampstead man who decided to drive to buy cigarettes two days after he was disqualified from driving has been fined and given a further disqualification.

Anthony Patrick Melville, 38, was stopped by police on Moore St on August 20 and found to be driving while disqualified.

He told police going out to get some cigarettes.

O'Brien said Melville had been disqualified from driving for three months on August 18.

He was disqualified for a further six months from November 17 and fined $140 plus court costs.

Three driving charges

Tinwald man Peletiso Iaapaia Meki pleaded guilty to three driving charges

The 22-year-old faced two charges of driving while suspended. One on East St on June 19 and a second on Archibald St on June 24.

He was also charged with failing to stop for police on Dec 18 in an incident in which he was given an infringement for drink driving.

Meki's lawyer said Meki had not understood that he was suspended.

O'Brien disqualified Meki from driving for eight months and fined him a total of $1200 plus court costs.

Theft admitted

Marjorie Leeann Gill, 45, admitted two charges of theft after police withdrew two other charges related to the theft of donation boxes.

The Netherby woman pleaded guilty to taking a top from an Ashburton store and a new charge of stealing a puffer jacket worth $150 on August 24.

The court was told that the jacket had been returned and reparation was sought for the top.

Gill was remanded for sentencing on October 26.

Drugs denied

Michael John Cooper, 32, denied a charge of driving while under the influence of drugs on February 5 this year.

He will appear again on November 13 for a case review.

Driving while forbidden

A Netherby man who has just been released from prison pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while forbidden.

Duty Lawyer Tiffany McRae said Shane Alex Graham, 38, had been released from prison two weeks ago.

He was in the process of getting his licence reinstated, but was stopped by police on September 9 and found to be driving while forbidden, she said.

McRae asked the magistrate to remand Graham’s case to a later date to allow him to get his licence.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte said Graham was on a learner’s licence and police would consider withdrawing the charge if Graham got his licence

Graham will appear again on December 14.

Remand to get licence

Thirty-year-old Hampstead man Jacob Peter Antonievic admitted driving while suspended on Wakanui Rd on August 7.

Duty lawyer Claire Yardley said Antonievic was on a learner’s licence and was suspended due to demerit points for driving outside the terms of the licence.

O’Brien said she wanted to allow Antonievic to get his restricted licence after his suspension was lifted on October 23.

He will appear again on December 14.

Second conviction

A decision to drive to get his sick dog home resulted in a drink driving conviction.

Adam Patrick Hodges, 29, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving on Wilkin Street on August 31. He blew 682mcg in a breath test.

Yardley said Hodges had been shearing on a farm and had not intended to drive that night. However, his dog became ill and was vomiting.

Hodges decided to drive home so his partner could take the dog to the vet.

Yardley said Hodges' last drink driving conviction was 10 years ago and this incident would not have happened except for the dog being sick.

O'Brien said Hodges had also had an infringement for drink driving in 2020.

"Alcohol and driving simply do not mix. You need to make better choices that don't put others at risk," O'Brien said.

She disqualified Hodges from driving for seven months and fined him $800 plus court costs.


A Dorie mas was disqualified from driving for seven months on his first drink driving conviction.

Brendon Robert Johnston, 23, admitted a charge of drink driving on July 30.

He blew 728mcg when stopped by police on East Street at 12.20am after having a few drinks at the Phat Duck.

Duty lawyer Tiffany McRae said this was Johnston's first time in court. He had made arrangements to stay in town rather than drive home, but was stopped on the way.

Johnston acknowledged level of alcohol was high and had cut back his alcohol consumption as a result, she said.

He was disqualified from driving for seven months and fined $700 plus court costs.

Wife called police

A man faces his first drink driving conviction after his wife called the police.

Vaelaa Letane, 37, pleaded guilty to drink driving on May 7.

He blew 596mcg in a breath test in his driveway at 5am.

Duty lawyer Joanne Lorrigan-Innes said Letane was stopped because his wife called the police and they were waiting in the driveway when he pulled in.

O’Brien said Letane had not previously appeared in court and had no infringements either.

She said the incident had been "shameful" for Letane and the disqualification would be a significant a penalty for Letane and his family.

"I am confident that you will not be reoffending," the magistrate said.

Letane was disqualified from driving for six months from September 15 and fined $400 plus court costs.

Warrants issued

The magistrate issued several warrants to arrest for people who failed to appear in court.

Gabriel Ngapua Brenna, 27, failed to appear on charges of possessing cannabis and offensive behaviour.

Malcolm Joseph Frederick Stuart Wichman, 49, did not appear on a charge of drink driving and Kyle Richard Wilson, 48, was not in court on a charge from corrections.