Fortunate outcome not so harsh after ‘rampage’: judge

A Uruguayan man who went on a "rampage" in Wānaka is fortunate to be leaving the country with only financial penalties, a judge says.

Ignacio Allo Crosta, 26, whose erratic and aggressive behaviour continued in two incidents in Queenstown last month, was expected to depart for his home country yesterday in the care of his parents.

At his sentencing in the Queenstown District Court on Monday, counsel Tanya Surrey said Allo Crosta’s offending was triggered by the unexpected withdrawal of a work offer and sponsorship, and mental health issues.

The police summary of facts said he entered a Wānaka restaurant about 9pm on December 15 and yelled at the victim, who was sitting at a table with his partner.

Trying to incite a physical confrontation, he knocked the victim’s hat off his head before exposing his penis to the couple.

He was arrested in his vehicle a short time later and taken to the Wānaka police station, where he refused to undergo an assessment for drug-impaired driving.

The defendant was aggressive and abusive, telling a constable "I drink your blood" and "I’ll smash your head in".

A search of his car uncovered 3g of cannabis and a grinder.

His belligerence continued at the Queenstown police station the next morning, where he urinated on the door of his cell and was "physically confrontational" with officers.

Finally, while in the resort town on Christmas Day, he was riding a bike on the footpath in Church St when he yelled at three people to get out of his way.

Confronting one of the victims, he told him he would "kill you right here" if it were not for the police station being across the road.

He then followed the trio into a convenience store, where, despite their efforts to de-escalate the situation, he continued to make threats, telling them "you three are dead already, because I’ll be looking for you".

He was charged with assault, disorderly behaviour, obscene exposure, refusing a compulsory impairment test, possessing cannabis, intentional damage and four charges of threatening language.

Ms Surrey said Allo Crosta did not have a history of such behaviour in his home country, but had suffered mental health issues in New Zealand.

Judge Duncan Harvey said the defendant was a "very lucky young man" not to be receiving a harsher sentence, but it was desirable he undergo psychological treatment in his home country as soon as possible.

Although the victims had been on the receiving end of "appalling" behaviour, ordering the defendant to pay reparation for emotional harm would only create unnecessary work for the police, who were keen to have the matter resolved and see the defendant leave the country.

He convicted the defendant and ordered him to pay $1500 to Victim Support Services in Queenstown, and $63 to the police for the cost of cleaning the cell.

 

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