Nurse avoids getting drink-drive conviction

Binu Antony
Binu Antony
A busy Covid ward nurse who drove drunk after a cricket celebration has dodged a conviction, paving the way for him to become a New Zealand citizen.

On March 12, Binu Antony’s Green Island Cricket Club team won its final and players returned to the clubrooms to celebrate.

In an affidavit in the Dunedin District Court, the 42-year-old said he did not usually drink but indulged with his team-mates to mark their success.

Antony claimed to have consumed two or three beers before driving home.

That evening, he was followed by an unmarked police car and was witnessed swerving in his lane while heading north on State Highway 1.

The defendant gave a breath-alcohol reading of 600mcg per litre of breath — more than twice the limit.

He called it a "stupid decision".

The court heard last month that Antony, a churchgoer who has no previous convictions here or in India, came to the country in 2011 as a permanent resident and had been a nurse for 15 years.

The father of four and his wife were on track to become New Zealand citizens and a conviction, while not automatically denying him, would "complicate the process", community magistrate Simon Heale said.

Antony’s counsel, Deborah Henderson, also argued a black mark on his record could severely hamper his future career prospects.

Mr Heale said the crime was of "low-to-moderate" seriousness and granted a discharge without conviction.

When Antony appeared in court last week, Mr Heale disqualified him from driving for seven months, backdating that period to the start of June.

That would mean the defendant could immediately apply for a limited licence (allowing him to drive strictly for work purposes).

Mr Heale also ordered Antony make a $600 donation to charity by next month.



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