The Australian tourist responsible for breaking a Queenstown
resident's jaw in two places early on Monday was yesterday
fined $3500 and ordered to pay $5000 emotional harm
reparation to the victim before returning to Australia.
Shane Anthony Howard Tempest (37) appeared in the Queenstown
District Court and admitted injuring Markus Laxholm with
intent but, through duty solicitor Sonia Vidal, said he did
not intend to injure him.
Mr Laxholm, an overseas national living and working in
Queenstown, underwent surgery to repair his jaw in Southland
Hospital on Monday.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said Tempest was leaving
Winnies restaurant in the Mall at 2.30am on Monday. He was
He became involved in an altercation with unknown people,
pushing the victim to the ground. He then ''kicked him to the
head forcefully'', causing Mr Laxholm to lose consciousness.
Police were called and Tempest was taken to the Queenstown
Police Station, where he stated the victim had been pushed
towards him and he had ''tried to protect himself'' by
pushing Mr Laxholm away.
He ''did not intend'' to kick the victim, but his ''foot was
out'' and Mr Laxholm struck his head on it as he hit the
Ms Vidal said Tempest had $5000 available for the victim and
funds for a ''significant'' fine.
Tempest had been in Queenstown tramping with a friend and had
been due to return to Australia on Monday afternoon.
He had consumed Jagerbombs - something he would not usually
drink - and he was ''embarrassed'' about his conduct under
the influence of alcohol, she said.
''He is extremely remorseful for his actions. He does feel
extremely bad for the victim.''
Ms Vidal said the conviction would affect his ability to
return to New Zealand, a country he visited twice a year.
Judge John Strettell said it was ''not clear'' whether the
charge reflected the level of offending, particularly if
Tempest's statement that he did not intend to injure Mr
Laxholm was accepted.
Issues relevant to penalty included letters from Tempest's
wife and parents stating the offending was ''very out of
character'' and Tempest's statement it was unintentional.
Had it been intentional, there was a ''strong likelihood'' a
prison term might follow, which may have been reduced to a
community-based sentence or home detention.
''For persons from overseas, that isn't an option,'' Judge
In Tempest's case, there were grounds to deal with it by way
of fine - those grounds included his ability to pay
''Undoubtedly in this case, the payment proposed is a
significant amount and is not done in order to attempt to buy
the defendant's freedom.
''It's done because there's a background of remorse ...''
Tempest was also ordered to pay $130 court costs.
A fortnight ago in the Queenstown District Court, Judge Kevin
Phillips issued a warning to Australian residents who had
historically been fined for offences because of the cost to
New Zealand taxpayers should they be sentenced to home
detention or imprisonment.
At that time, Judge Phillips said he had often seen cases
involving Australian tourists in New Zealand, who consumed
too much alcohol and acted violently, receiving fines so New
Zealand taxpayers did not have to pay for their time in
prison or on home detention.
He warned it would be the last time he dealt with overseas
offenders in that way. In future, they would be dealt with on
the merits of their case, not on the basis of where they
lived or their ability to pay fines.