Order to pay $4.5k for ramming gate

A Dunedin man who rammed an electronic gate with his car to get to where he was staying in Cromwell has been ordered to pay for the damage.

Peter John Kirk (53), a sand blaster, entered a guilty plea to a charge of wilful damage when he appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips in the Alexandra District Court yesterday.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris George said Kirk was staying with friends for a weekend getaway at Highlands Park gated community.

On April 22, 2019 Kirk arrived back at the park after a night out socialising about 2.25am.

"On arrival he became frustrated that the gate would not open."

Kirk then reversed his vehicle before accelerating forward into the gate. The collision knocked the gate off its runners and Kirk drove into the park.

The incident was witnessed by another person staying in the park who contacted police, Sergeant George said.

Police found Kirk in bed in his rented accommodation where he denied hitting the gate and said he had not been driving.

On May 22, he was issued a notice by police ordering him to identify the driver within 14 days, he said.

On June 5, Kirk emailed police stating he was was unaware who was driving the car.

Judge Phillips said Kirk was lying.

"He doesn’t comply to the letter of the law to disclose who was driving, because he was."

Defence lawyer Megan McCrostie said her client was remorseful to which Judge Phillips interjected.

"He initially plead not guilty, I don’t think he is remorseful at all. You may have saved the court some time by admitting to the obvious."

Judge Phillips convicted him and ordered Kirk to pay $4502 in reparation, immediately.

- Jonathon David Quartly (30), of Christchurch, was convicted of dangerous driving on Kyeburn-Ranfurly Rd on May 10, 2019. The court was told he fell asleep at the wheel and hit the back of a school bus. No children were on board at the time. His speed was estimated to be 120kmh. Judge Phillips convicted and fined him $400, disqualified him for seven months for what he described as "atrocious driving".

He was also ordered to pay $250 to the bus driver.