Another alleged offender has left the country after his
former girlfriend sought to lay charges against him with the
Queenstown police last month.
Irishwoman Jillian Fitzgerald (24) laid a complaint with
police on January 30 about two separate incidents involving
an alleged assault on her by her French boyfriend. The
complaint came almost two weeks after the first incident, on
January 18. The second incident was on January 27.
Senior Sergeant John Fookes, of Queenstown, said while the
woman was reportedly upset the man had left without being
taken in for questioning, police had taken the appropriate
action to catch up with the man.
On January 30, police attempts to contact the man failed and
on February 1 a detective checked CCTV footage in a bid to
The private and public CCTV footage did not show the incident
and when police put a border alert on the man at Queenstown
Airport, they discovered he had already left.
''At no stage was it indicated that the offender was at risk
of leaving the country.''
The Frenchman's departure was within a week of Uruguayan
Martin Avenatti-Cuna (27) leaving for Santiago, Chile, before
his court appearance in the Queenstown District Court on
Avenatti-Cuna had pleaded guilty. However, police had not
confiscated his passport and he was able to leave the country
without penalty, leaving the victim furious.
Snr Sgt Fookes said the two incidents had completely
different circumstances. The second incident was an
allegation and police did everything to track the man down,
not knowing he was a flight risk.
Police were under the impression the Frenchman was unaware he
was being investigated, Snr Sgt Fookes said. Police in charge
had taken all appropriate steps in the time they were given.
''We were dealing with allegations that were two weeks after
the first event.''
For this reason, it was important all assault victims
contacted police as soon as possible, he said.