Give up drinking, warns judge

A Queenstown man who "pole-axed" a bouncer has been told by a judge to give up drinking.

Austyn James Elias Chegwidden (23), of Lake Hayes Estate, was causing "all sorts of problems" with his behaviour in a bar in the resort on May 3 last year, Judge Kevin Phillips said.

His attitude towards bar staff was that if they wanted him out, "they would have to kick him out".

About 3.30am they did just that, but Chegwidden stayed near its entrance and "baited" the security staff.

After abusing the victim, including telling him to return to the country he came from, he approached him from behind and king-hit him.

"He was pole-axed by the strength of the blow you delivered to him," Judge Phillips said.

His behaviour was the result of intoxication.

"You're a man who shouldn't touch alcohol at all."

Chegwidden was sentenced in the Queenstown District Court yesterday after admitting injuring Michael McBurney with reckless disregard for the safety of others, and disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.

On the assault charge, he was convicted and sentenced to four months' community detention to enable intervention for drug and alcohol issues, assessment for any other programme considered appropriate by the probation service, and any counselling as directed by Probation.

He must not possess or consume alcohol or drugs for the duration of the sentence.

He must perform 180 hours' community work, and pay the victim $4153 in compensation, of which $250 must be paid immediately and the balance in monthly instalments of $400.

He must also pay the victim $1500 for emotional harm, in instalments.

For disorderly behaviour, he was convicted and discharged.


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