‘Panicked’ refusal results in hefty fine

Saturday September 19, 2020 Written by Published in Crime

A man who refused to take an excess breath alcohol test has been convicted and ordered to pay a fine of $550.

Ngatokotoru Nicholas is also disqualified from driving or holding a driver’s licence for the next 12 months.

He appeared before Justice of the Peace John Whitta at the High Court on Thursday.

Defence counsel Wilkie Rasmussen in his submission said it was a couple of years ago Nicholas and his siblings lost their mother to a bike accident in Tupapa.

Rasmussen said according to probation reports, it was understood that the family was disintegrated after losing their loved one and there was no unity. His brothers began to live a different life, straight into crime and disobedience.

He said he only took on Nicholas’ case two weeks ago and believes this was a young man that needed proper guidance to follow the right path.

“He spent time inside (prison) and certainly does not want to go back there, he doesn’t want that life,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen added that Nicholas was now employed and hoped he listens to his advice - to change his own life and stay away from bad influence.

“There is no excuse for his offence, he panicked and didn’t want to be breathalysed,” he said.

Nicholas was also convicted and fined another $200 for the charge of three counts of contempt of court, where he breached curfew orders, breached orders not to consume alcohol and not to enter liquor license premises.

Further to this, Rasmussen entered a not guilty plea for Nicholas on the charge of entering with intent. The defending hearing before three Justices of the Peace will be held on November 3.

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