Judge scathing of defendant’s breach of lockdown rules

"You need to abide by the conditions of the lockdown or it will be lockup," Judge Russell Walker told a man appearing in the Invercargill District Court yesterday.

Brandon McFall was appearing on charges of breach of bail and failing to appear in court, after a warrant was issued for his arrest for not appearing at court on Tuesday.

Appearing via audiovisual link from the Invercargill police station, McFall was lambasted by Judge Walker for breaking lockdown rules.

"We are in lockdown at the moment, Level 4, and in what I’ve read you’ve had people around at your grandfather’s house."

McFall said he had asked them to leave but they would not.

Judge Walker remanded McFall on bail to appear in court on September 7.

 - Kane Johnston-Walters did not want to move from his chair after Judge Walker remanded him in custody until his next court appearance.

Johnston-Walters was appearing yesterday by audiovisual link from the Invercargill police station, on charges of failing to stop for police, driving while disqualified, wilful damage on August 18, and unlawfully getting into and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, on August 5.

Despite being told he needed to discuss the matter further with hi counsel Sonia Vidal, Johnston-Walters continued to try to negotiate bail, denied any wrongdoing then sat with his head down in silence.

In the end, the audio-visual link was disabled while police dealt with the situation.

Judge Walker said Johnston-Walters had a 13-page record from the past five years which included 15 driving while disqualified offences, six dangerous driving ones and three failing to stop for police matters.

He was "a significant risk to himself as well as road users", Judge Walker said.

There had been 14 previous warrants issued for the defendant’s arrest, for failing to appear in court and 20 for breaching bail.

Judge Walker remanded him in custody to appear September 7.

 

 

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