Drunken wedding outburst has sequel in court

As dawn broke on his brother's wedding day, an Auckland plumber began drinking.

Throughout the big day, Anthony Charles Dobson reckons he downed about 40 wines.

A groomsman for the celebrations at the upmarket Bridgewater Country Estate in Helensville, Dobson wasn't supposed to ruin the wedding with a violent drunken outburst. But about 9.30pm on the November night, that's what the 36-year-old plumber did.

A barman at the estate refused to serve Dobson, so the groomsman let fly with a volley of abuse, grabbed a wine glass, smashed it, and jabbed it towards the evading worker.

Other guests intervened but Dobson broke free, picked up another two glasses and hurled them at the barman, who was forced to sidestep the projectiles.

Amid more threats of "smashing", the barman fled as Dobson ran at him from behind a bush.

Dobson was tackled to the ground by other guests whom he labelled a "bunch of pussies".

Police were called and a lone officer arrived to find Dobson lying on the road. He wasn't finished with the abuse and the officer copped it this time and was forced to call for help.

When in the patrol car, Dobson told officers he would "take them on" if his cuffs were removed. Dobson's night of mayhem resulted in his admitting one charge each of assault with a weapon, threatening behaviour and disorderly behaviour.

In the Waitakere District Court yesterday, his lawyer Ashley Thomas said Dobson was remorseful and felt humiliated.

"He has embarrassed himself. He's embarrassed his family and reports he's still getting a lot of criticism from within the family for ruining his brother's wedding."

Mr Thomas said since his arrest Dobson had not touched a drop of alcohol.

Dobson denied suggestions in a pre-sentence report that he blamed the barman for what happened, but thought the worker had been "cheeky". He also told the report writer he hadn't wanted to be at the wedding or wear a suit.

Judge John Bergseng sentenced Dobson to 120 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision, which includes a direction to attend alcohol and drug counselling if required, pay a $150 fine and pay the barman $300 emotional harm reparation.

A staff member at the estate said the bride and groom visited the venue the day after their wedding to apologise.

- by Jimmy Ellingham

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Design & Detailing Solutions LtdMosgielArchitects & Architectural Designers
Hanrahan Brick & BlocklayingDunedinSpecialist Trades
Driven Rentals GroupDunedinVehicle Rentals
The Artists RoomDunedinArt Galleries & Museums