A Matamata man who drunkenly bashed a Queenstown police
officer on the head apologised in person, when their paths
crossed in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.
David Keith Nicol (31), of Matamata, blocklayer, appeared for
sentencing yesterday after pleading guilty to assaulting
Sergeant Steve Watt, using a torch as a weapon.
The court heard Nicol had been drinking in the resort and in
the early hours of October 22 was denied entry to a bar
because the staff considered him intoxicated.
The defendant left before police could arrive and he tried to
get entry to another bar, but was refused again.
When police caught up with Nicol, he turned his drunken abuse
from bar staff to the officers.
He was arrested and taken to Queenstown police station.
Sgt Watt was fingerprinting Nicol when the defendant snatched
the torch from the officer's belt and hit him with it. The
blow caused a small cut to the back of Sgt Watt's head, which
required medical attention.
Nicol appeared on November 5, asked for a sentencing
indication from Judge Michael Turner and pleaded guilty. His
case was remanded for more reports to be filed.
The judge at Nicol's next appearance questioned his remorse
and his view he was the victim. The matter was remanded until
Judge Turner said yesterday given Nicol showed no insight or
remorse for his actions, he was prepared to start sentencing
afresh, but Nicol's defence said his feeling of being
victimised referred to him not being allowed into bars on the
Nicol did not dispute striking Sgt Watt and he apologised to
the officer in person. Sgt Watt confirmed in court to Judge
Turner he had received an apology and he believed it was
''You have a bad history,'' the judge told Nicol in the dock.
''Repeat offending of this nature will lead to a period of
imprisonment for you.''
Nicol was convicted and sentenced to three months' home
detention in Matamata, from February 1. Nicol was ordered to
complete rehabilitation and not to possess or consume
The defendant was sentenced to 75 hours' community work and
ordered to pay $300 in emotional harm reparation to Sgt Watt.