A professional free-skier who hopes to represent New Zealand
at the World X Games was discharged without conviction on
charges of breaching the liquor ban and assaulting a bouncer,
both in Wanaka on July 13.
Thomas James Frederick McGaw (19), also a skiing instructor
at Snow Park, initially denied assaulting Leon Greenway and
appeared for a status hearing before Judge Michael Turner
However, after hearing the facts, Judge Turner believed a
conviction would be "out of all proportion to the gravity of
With regard to the assault, Judge Turner said McGaw - who
told the judge he had been celebrating winning his first
competition of the season - started drinking about 2pm on
He and friends had consumed beer and later bought and
consumed some whisky.
Shortly after midnight McGaw and his associates were in a
Wanaka bar when one of his associates "became aggressive".
"Due to his gross intoxication you tried to restrain him from
behaving inappropriately towards others," Judge Turner said.
A security officer removed McGaw from the bar, before being
told by other patrons he was not the troublemaker.
McGaw was allowed back into the bar and his associate was
"You considered that the doorman had been excessive in the
use of his force towards your friend.
"You became involved, grabbing hold of the doorman."
The victim considered McGaw had placed him in a "headlock",
although McGaw maintained he had "grabbed him around the
McGaw earlier told Judge Turner he had "no intention of
causing harm" and wanted to get his associate home.
He had been attending alcohol counselling in Auckland and had
since stopped drinking.
Judge Turner considered McGaw's offending to be at the low
end of the scale.
Given his ambitions to travel the world and represent New
Zealand in free-skiing, convictions "may cause difficulty
with travel in due course", Judge Turner said.
McGaw was ordered to pay $132.89 court costs and $200
emotional harm reparation to Mr Greenway by 4pm today.