District Court news

Gisborne Courthouse. File picture by Rebecca Grunwell

“Drunk drivers kill people — it’s as simple as that,” Judge Lance Rowe told a man who drove dangerously through a public area while almost three times over the legal alcohol limit.

David Keith McDonald pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to careless driving and driving with excess breath-alcohol (1164mcg) for the third or subsequent time, his fifth.

Just before 8pm on a Friday night in February, a heavily-intoxicated McDonald sped through town, overtaking a vehicle. When he reached a residential area, he lost control and crashed.

Many members of the public out and about in those areas at the time and other road users were put at risk, Judge Rowe said.

Were it not for a gap of about 10 years since McDonald’s last similar offence, and his attendance at an appropriate programme and counselling since, he would definitely have been going to jail, the judge said.

From a starting point of eight months imprisonment, the judge deducted two months for McDonald’s guilty pleas, then converted the sentence to three months home detention.

The start date was deferred for three weeks to enable McDonald to undergo surgery.

He was disqualified from driving for 15 months.

~

A man in his 40s pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual connection with a female after resolution was reached with the Crown.

The man has continued interim name suppression. He was convicted and given a Three Strikes warning. He will be sentenced on November 21.

Judge Lance Rowe agreed to allow bail. Although unusual after a guilty plea on a charge of this type, the judge accepted counsel Doug Rishworth’s submission that bail was appropriate because the offender wanted to attempt a restorative justice process with the woman.

Mr Rishworth said the restorative justice process was almost impossible to conduct while an offender was on remand in prison.

Name suppression was likely to become permanent at sentencing — the court was told the woman was closely associated with the defendant.

Prosecutor Steve Manning said the Crown did not oppose bail but he did not know if the woman would agree to restorative justice.

~

For assaulting a child, a woman received a sentence of nine months supervision, 80 hours community work and was ordered to pay court costs $130.

Jessica Green, 37, pleaded guilty to the charge.

The assault occurred after a verbal argument escalated, the court was told.

Green slapped the school-aged child twice in the mouth before pushing her to the floor and twice kicking her in the lower back.

An adult intervened and called police.

Judge Haami Raumati said the girl was distraught but not physically injured.

Green had no relevant prior convictions.

Counsel Lucy Rishworth said the offending occurred at a time when Green was highly stressed and lacked adequate support. She was extremely remorseful and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She had suffered significant consequences as a result of the incident.

Adopting the recommendation of a pre-sentence report, Judge Raumati said Green was assessed as a low risk of reoffending and harm to others.

The report acknowledged steps Green had since taken to taken to address underlying matters and she was to be congratulated for that.

Formal supervision would assist her to maintain that path, Judge Raumati said.

A 19-year-old due for sentence on a charge of assault with a blunt instrument was granted an adjournment to apply for a discharge without conviction.

Counsel Alistair Clarke said a conviction could impact on Taina Ngatai’s chances of joining the army.

Ngatai was further remanded on bail for the application to be considered on November 23.

Judge Rowe noted comments in a victim statement that Ngatai behaved in a controlling and manipulative way during the course of the couple’s relationship.

The offence, which Ngatai admitted, seemed entirely consistent with those remarks, the judge said.

Ngatai proposed to attend Tauawhi Men’s Centre and to undergo an anger management programme.

The success of his application would depend on Ngatai demonstrating to the court a willingness to take responsibility for his actions, Judge Rowe said.

A protection order could be issued at Ngatai’s next hearing.

~

Admitting two assaults on a woman, Jordahn Ihaia Williams, 25, forestry worker, was sentenced to 80 hours community work and six months supervision.

He pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a woman and common assault.

Judge Rowe said the work sentence would have been longer was it not for Williams’ employment.

The charges related to incidents in which Williams head-butted, punched and bit the woman.

He had a limited history for other violence.

~

Cody Denise Molloy, 23, pleaded guilty to wilful trespass (at her partner’s house). She was convicted and ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months. Molloy had already paid for a window damaged during the incident.

~

For his 14th disqualified driving-type offence since 1991, Paane Russell Kingi, 47, was further remanded on bail to make an application to avoid further disqualification.

He was scheduled to appear again in the court on November 23, by which time it is hoped he could get his full driver’s licence.

Kingi pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while suspended for the third or subsequent time and failing to surrender his licence.

He was suspended after driving contrary to the conditions of a restricted licence.

~

Charged with a fifth drink-drive offence, to which he pleaded guilty, Roger James Brown, 64, porter, received a sentence of three months community detention, six months supervision, and was disqualified from driving for 14 months.

Brown was routinely stopped and was found to be driving with a breath-alcohol level of 891 micrograms.

~

Mangu Patudi Kemp, 30, forest worker, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol (622mcg) for the third or subsequent time — his fifth.

Judge Raumati sentenced Kemp to six months community detention, nine months supervision, disqualified from driving for a year and two months, and ordered him to pay court costs of $130.

He will be subject to a zero alcohol licence in future.

There was also an order not to own or take an interest in a vehicle for the next 12 months.

Forfeiture of his vehicle that might otherwise have occurred was waived. Counsel Elliott Lynch said ownership had since been transferred to Kemp’s father.

~

“Drunk drivers kill people — it’s as simple as that,” Judge Lance Rowe told a man who drove dangerously through a public area while almost three times over the legal alcohol limit.

David Keith McDonald pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to careless driving and driving with excess breath-alcohol (1164mcg) for the third or subsequent time, his fifth.

Just before 8pm on a Friday night in February, a heavily-intoxicated McDonald sped through town, overtaking a vehicle. When he reached a residential area, he lost control and crashed.

Many members of the public out and about in those areas at the time and other road users were put at risk, Judge Rowe said.

Were it not for a gap of about 10 years since McDonald’s last similar offence, and his attendance at an appropriate programme and counselling since, he would definitely have been going to jail, the judge said.

From a starting point of eight months imprisonment, the judge deducted two months for McDonald’s guilty pleas, then converted the sentence to three months home detention.

The start date was deferred for three weeks to enable McDonald to undergo surgery.

He was disqualified from driving for 15 months.

~

A man in his 40s pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual connection with a female after resolution was reached with the Crown.

The man has continued interim name suppression. He was convicted and given a Three Strikes warning. He will be sentenced on November 21.

Judge Lance Rowe agreed to allow bail. Although unusual after a guilty plea on a charge of this type, the judge accepted counsel Doug Rishworth’s submission that bail was appropriate because the offender wanted to attempt a restorative justice process with the woman.

Mr Rishworth said the restorative justice process was almost impossible to conduct while an offender was on remand in prison.

Name suppression was likely to become permanent at sentencing — the court was told the woman was closely associated with the defendant.

Prosecutor Steve Manning said the Crown did not oppose bail but he did not know if the woman would agree to restorative justice.

~

For assaulting a child, a woman received a sentence of nine months supervision, 80 hours community work and was ordered to pay court costs $130.

Jessica Green, 37, pleaded guilty to the charge.

The assault occurred after a verbal argument escalated, the court was told.

Green slapped the school-aged child twice in the mouth before pushing her to the floor and twice kicking her in the lower back.

An adult intervened and called police.

Judge Haami Raumati said the girl was distraught but not physically injured.

Green had no relevant prior convictions.

Counsel Lucy Rishworth said the offending occurred at a time when Green was highly stressed and lacked adequate support. She was extremely remorseful and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She had suffered significant consequences as a result of the incident.

Adopting the recommendation of a pre-sentence report, Judge Raumati said Green was assessed as a low risk of reoffending and harm to others.

The report acknowledged steps Green had since taken to taken to address underlying matters and she was to be congratulated for that.

Formal supervision would assist her to maintain that path, Judge Raumati said.

A 19-year-old due for sentence on a charge of assault with a blunt instrument was granted an adjournment to apply for a discharge without conviction.

Counsel Alistair Clarke said a conviction could impact on Taina Ngatai’s chances of joining the army.

Ngatai was further remanded on bail for the application to be considered on November 23.

Judge Rowe noted comments in a victim statement that Ngatai behaved in a controlling and manipulative way during the course of the couple’s relationship.

The offence, which Ngatai admitted, seemed entirely consistent with those remarks, the judge said.

Ngatai proposed to attend Tauawhi Men’s Centre and to undergo an anger management programme.

The success of his application would depend on Ngatai demonstrating to the court a willingness to take responsibility for his actions, Judge Rowe said.

A protection order could be issued at Ngatai’s next hearing.

~

Admitting two assaults on a woman, Jordahn Ihaia Williams, 25, forestry worker, was sentenced to 80 hours community work and six months supervision.

He pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting a woman and common assault.

Judge Rowe said the work sentence would have been longer was it not for Williams’ employment.

The charges related to incidents in which Williams head-butted, punched and bit the woman.

He had a limited history for other violence.

~

Cody Denise Molloy, 23, pleaded guilty to wilful trespass (at her partner’s house). She was convicted and ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months. Molloy had already paid for a window damaged during the incident.

~

For his 14th disqualified driving-type offence since 1991, Paane Russell Kingi, 47, was further remanded on bail to make an application to avoid further disqualification.

He was scheduled to appear again in the court on November 23, by which time it is hoped he could get his full driver’s licence.

Kingi pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while suspended for the third or subsequent time and failing to surrender his licence.

He was suspended after driving contrary to the conditions of a restricted licence.

~

Charged with a fifth drink-drive offence, to which he pleaded guilty, Roger James Brown, 64, porter, received a sentence of three months community detention, six months supervision, and was disqualified from driving for 14 months.

Brown was routinely stopped and was found to be driving with a breath-alcohol level of 891 micrograms.

~

Mangu Patudi Kemp, 30, forest worker, pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath-alcohol (622mcg) for the third or subsequent time — his fifth.

Judge Raumati sentenced Kemp to six months community detention, nine months supervision, disqualified from driving for a year and two months, and ordered him to pay court costs of $130.

He will be subject to a zero alcohol licence in future.

There was also an order not to own or take an interest in a vehicle for the next 12 months.

Forfeiture of his vehicle that might otherwise have occurred was waived. Counsel Elliott Lynch said ownership had since been transferred to Kemp’s father.

~

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