A Scottish man who kicked a man in the head in Queenstown
fell victim to the "binge drinking culture" endemic in the
resort, a judge says.
James Douglas Webster, 26, an electric cable joiner, appeared
in Queenstown District Court yesterday where he admitted
assaulting David McIntosh with intent to injure in an
altercation in The Mall on November 9.
Prosecutor Sergeant Ian Collin said the defendant had
travelled from the Benmore area with work colleagues and had
been drinking during the two-hour journey.
After checking into his accommodation Webster and his
associates went to a bar and continued to drink.
After several hours, Webster made his way into The Mall and
"crossed paths" with Mr McIntosh.
"[Webster] made derogatory comments about the victim's choice
of clothing," Mr Collin said.
A verbal argument ensued before Mr McIntosh pushed Webster to
Webster got up and was again pushed down.
Eventually, Webster punched Mr McIntosh in the face and when
the victim was on the ground he kicked him in the head,
causing him to lose consciousness.
Webster ran away but was followed by members of the public
and apprehended by police a short time later.
He admitted being involved in the altercation, but could not
recall anything about the incident.
Defence counsel Phena Byrne said the physical altercation was
initiated by the victim, who received a pre-charge warning
for his part in the incident.
However, Webster accepted his actions were "completely
Judge Lawrence Ryan said even if the victim had provoked
Webster, "the problem is that your response, by kicking him
when he was on the ground, has taken this level of offending
over and above just a brawl".
"You are liable [for] a term of imprisonment of up to three
However, Judge Ryan gave credit for the "genuine remorse"
shown by Webster and references which indicated the incident
was "completely out of character".
He referred to a comment Webster had made about the "binge
drinking lifestyle" he had found himself in.
"This is a bit endemic in Queenstown, for reasons that are
probably pretty evident to everyone.
"You have a binge drinking [culture] and violence seems to
Webster was fined $500 and ordered to pay reparation of $1000
to Mr McIntosh.