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
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
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