A Netherby woman was let off any outstanding fines and reparation when she came before Community Magistrate Elder Robati in the Ashburton District Court for sentencing on a raft of charges last week.
Marjorie Leeann Gill, 46, had earlier pleaded guilty to four theft charges in 2023: taking a black strapless top worth $50 from Mode Boutique in May; stealing a donation box with an estimated $100 in donations from the Ashburton District Council in July, a joint charge of stealing groceries worth $32.75 from BP Connect in Ashburton in July, and stealing a puffer jacket worth $150 belonging to a woman in August.
Gill had also pleaded guilty to a breach of the Medicines Act for possessing medicine not in appropriate containers on September 21 last year.
On Friday she pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly behaviour on October 26 after police prosecutor Sergeant Stuart Whyte withdrew one charge of common assault and amended a second assault charge to one of disorderly behaviour.
Lawyer Joanna Lorrigan-Innes said Gill had "significant personal stuff" to deal with, including a father who was terminally ill, personal medical issues and an addiction to prescription medication.
She said Gill's pre-sentence report recommendation of a sentence of community detention and supervision seemed appropriate.
Robati sentenced Gill to six months' community detention and six months' supervision and remitted any unpaid fines and reparation sought with that sentence.
"There's a few issues going on for you. This will give you the best opportunity going forward and help you with your addictions... but you must come on board. There are people here trying to help you but you must also help yourself," the magistrate told Gill.
No alcohol since charge
A Hampstead man who drew the attention of police for driving with his headlights off while heading out to get a pie, has admitted his second drink driving charge.
Troy Eurypides Trevor Wiki-Arapeta, 26, admitted a charge of drink driving on East Street on December 23.
He blew 692 micrograms per litre of breath when stopped by police just after 2.30am.
Duty lawyer Roz Burnside said Wiki-Arapeta was at home when he decided to "go out and get a pie".
He was driving with his headlights off, which drew the police's attention.
Burnside said Wiki-Arapeta had given up alcohol as a result of this offence and had not touched a drop of drink for 33 days.
He was fined $750 and disqualified from driving for six months.
$500 for speeding
Rushing to view a car he hoped to buy proved to be an expensive mistake for Zac Curtis Graham.
The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of speeding near Dromore on December 6 last year in his first time before the court.
He was clocked at 160kmh on SH 1 in fine weather with light traffic.
Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart said Graham, who is a car mechanic, had seen a car online that he wanted to buy.
The seller had agreed to meet him in Rolleston but then stopped replying to messages. After a frustrating wait, the seller told Graham he was in Rolleston but would only wait for 30 minutes.
Not wanting to miss out on the car, Graham got into his BMW and headed to Rolleston.
"He knew he was speeding but was focused on staying safe and didn’t look at his speedo. When he looked down after he saw flashing lights he was horrified," Hart said.
He was fined $500.
"I hope not to see you back in court again," the magistrate said.
Hasn't driven since crash
A crash while under the influence of alcohol has left a 53-year-old Oamaru man shaken enough that he's been put off driving.
Nigel Ian Hempel pleaded guilty to a drink driving charge on December 6 after his red Honda CRX veered left on Wakanui Road and crashed into a parked truck.
His car was written off and a blood sample in hospital showed a blood alcohol reading of 191 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood - the equivalent of about 950mcg on a breath test.
Duty lawyer Roz Burnside said Hempel had very little recollection of the crash, was extremely remorseful and had not driven since.
"He can't face the idea of driving."
Hempel had been on supervision sentence for almost a year and was doing very well – and was attending alcohol and drug counselling, she said.
Hempel lived with his sister, did not have access to a car and had no intention of driving which made him an exception to the alcohol interlock rule.
Robati fined Hempel $955 plus court costs of $130 and the cost of the blood analysis fees. He was also disqualified from driving for seven months.
First drink driving conviction
Jaimee Ngaere Teresa Putaranui, 37, pleaded guilty to her first drink driving charge.
The Hampstead woman blew 748mcg in a breath test on Dobson Street on January 7.
Robati said Putaranui had told police she had consumed about two cans in the hour before she was stopped at a random police check.
She was convicted, fined $850 plus court costs and disqualified from driving for 6 months.
Kaliova Naduma, 40, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving on November 26 on Chalmers Avenue after a breath test of 968mcg.
Duty lawyer Gretchen Hart asked the magistrate to withhold any conviction to allow Naduma to apply for a discharge without conviction. He will appear again on March 27.
A driver who had quaffed eight drinks before getting behind the wheel decided to ask for a blood test when his breath test was over 400mcg.
Andre Martin Vlasveld was stopped by police just before 2am on Havelock Street on December 2 last year.
The 24-year-old Allenton man elected to have a blood test after a breath test showed he was over the limit.
The magistrate said Vlasveld told police he'd had eight drinks and decided to drive because he didn't want to leave his car at a friend's house in case the car was stolen.
Vlasveld's blood test came back with a reading of 145mg - which converted to breath alcohol would be around 750mcg, Robati said.
Vlasveld was fined $800 plus court costs, ordered to pay for the blood analysis fees- and was disqualified from driving for six months.
Ilaisaane Matau, 45, admitted driving while suspended on Short Street on November 23 last year.
She was suspended due to repeated learner licence breaches, Sergeant Whyte said.
Matau was remanded to May 21 to give her a chance to get her restricted licence.
A West Melton man admitted drink driving on his way home from the races.
Malcolm Ivan Shinn, 74, came to the attention of the police after a member of the public reported his erratic driving on December 15, 2023.
He blew 657mcg when stopped by police on Bremners Road and said he'd had a few wines at the races.
Shinn will appear again on March 27.
Graeme Gordon Mills, 64, pleaded guilty to his first drink driving charge.
He blew 600mcg when stopped by police on South Street on December 22 last year.
Mills was fined $650 plus court costs and disqualified from driving for six months.
Driving while suspended
Juanita Mary Mitchell, 27, admitted driving while suspended on Railway Terrace on August 12 last year.
She was remanded to April 16 to give her time to get her restricted licence.
Solo dad remanded
A solo dad's case was remanded to give his lawyer time to apply for a discharge without conviction.
Hampstead man Simon Milton Norris, 46, blew 546mcg when stopped by police on South Street on October 27 last year.
Lawyer Paul Bradford said there was no suggestion of any driving error and it was Norris' first time before court.
Bradford said Norris was a solo father of two children, one of whom has special needs. He asked the magistrate to remand the case to allow him to apply for a discharge without conviction.
Norris will appear again on March 27.
Speeding while driving under the influence turned out to be a costly mistake,
Sobin Pavuthiel Baby was stopped by police at 11pm on December 30, 2023, on Harrison Street after they noticed he was speeding.
The 36-year-old Allenton man blew 734mcg.
Duty lawyer Roz Burnside said Pavuthiel Baby was at a New Year party and foolishly decided to drive. He was extremely remorseful, she said.
He was fined $800 plus court costs and disqualified from driving for six months.
A charge against John Taumaoe, 24, for careless driving on Beach Road in 2022, was withdrawn by Sergeant Whyte.
By Sharon Davis