Police assault accused released on bail

Peter John Barratt (front) leaves the Queenstown District Court after appearing yesterday. Photo by Fairfax Media.
Peter John Barratt (front) leaves the Queenstown District Court after appearing yesterday. Photo by Fairfax Media.

A Wanaka man charged with assaulting a policeman and threatening to kill was released on bail when he appeared before a justice of the peace in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

Peter John Barratt (72), sporting a black eye and what appeared to be a bloodstain on the left shoulder region of his shirt, was bailed to a Haast address when he appeared before Joy McDonald.

Barratt is charged with assaulting Senior Constable Sean Hurley and threatening to kill Hurley, his daughters and

Constable Peter Reed after an incident at Makarora on Thursday.

Snr Const Hurley (52) was left bloodied and bruised after the incident. Barratt has also been charged with drink-driving after recording a breath-alcohol level of 751mcg when stopped by police yesterday. The legal limit is 400mcg.

Queenstown solicitor Sonia Vidal, representing Barratt, entered no plea and asked for a remand on bail. Miss McDonald released Barratt on bail until his next scheduled court appearance on April 28.

Bail conditions require him to live at a house he has in Haast, which is in the same street as the local police station.

Barratt must report to the station daily between 8am and 4pm, and not drive, drink, enter licensed premises or enter Wanaka unless to travel to the Queenstown District Court.

''I take a very dim view of what's happened,'' Miss McDonald told Barratt before outlining the bail conditions and asking him to surrender his passport.

Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin earlier told the court police were satisfied the bail conditions were appropriate ''in terms of eliminating any issues as to further offending''.

A police statement on Thursday said Snr Const Hurley had stopped a motorist in Makarora for a routine breath test about 3pm after road workers reported a suspected drink-driver heading towards Wanaka.

After failing the test, the motorist was asked to accompany Snr Const Hurley to Wanaka, but on the way, the motorist is alleged to have kicked the officer in the head and tried to gouge his eye.

Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said Snr Const Hurley stopped his car and restrained the man before continuing.

However, the man began ''playing up'' in the back seat again as the car approached the Makarora Country Cafe so Snr Const Hurley pulled into the cafe forecourt, restrained him again and radioed for help.

- Mountain Scene