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'Get your property and get out of there' - Judge

Author
Open Justice,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jun 2022, 12:25pm
John Bolstad with one of his prize horses that he has imported into New Zealand, and which he pleaded with a judge was all he was concerned about. Photo / Otago Daily Times
John Bolstad with one of his prize horses that he has imported into New Zealand, and which he pleaded with a judge was all he was concerned about. Photo / Otago Daily Times

'Get your property and get out of there' - Judge

Author
Open Justice,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jun 2022, 12:25pm

A horse breeder locked out of his former partner's property after breaching a police safety order has been advised by a judge to grab his things and stay away.

"Get your property and get out of there," Judge Noel Sainsbury told John Bolstad who appeared in the Nelson District Court via video link from the custody cell where he had been held overnight on Sunday.

Bolstad admitted two charges of failing to comply with the safety order, but all he was worried about were his horses and who was caring for them on the Murchison property, in the southern Tasman District.

"I have money tied up in imported horses," he told the court.

The 62-year-old New Zealand-born Australian stockman was reported in 2019 as wanting to establish an Australian heritage stock horse stud farm in the South Island with two imported heritage stock horse stallions.

He had recently moved to Murchison but as it transpired, things turned sour when Bolstad claimed the police informed his partner of his past.

Bolstad's lawyer Mitchell Friend told the court that there was no violence which had triggered the reasons he found himself in court, and that the matter was based on history.

The Otago Daily Times reported in 2019 that Bolstad spent 30 years working as a stockman on cattle stations in Australia before he returned to New Zealand after being given the choice of a ''lengthy jail sentence or being deported'' for owning an unlicensed firearm.

The .22 rifle was part of a licensed collection and not registering it was a simple oversight, he said at the time.

Police prosecution told the court that the family harm team had indicated that the complainant in this instance had "definitely wanted a protection order" but given the circumstances local police might be able to help him get his property out of the house.

Bolstad said he did not want to have anything to do with the person at risk, but wanted to get his property items back, but was told by the judge he risked breaching the temporary order in place. It would also be difficult getting a third party to retrieve his items, mainly because of the onus that placed on anyone else to gather the correct items.

"The person at risk wants nothing to do with him and is afraid of him – whether that's because of what the police said or because of what he has done," said Judge Sainsbury.

Wellington-based Judge Sainsbury was temporarily in Nelson due to the absence of one of the regular sitting district court judges.

He advised Bolstad to take the offer of liaising with local police to remove his items, and from then on he would not need to have anything further to do with the complainant.

He added that because the horses were on an adjoining property, that did not prevent him looking after them, as long as he stuck to that.

"Get your property and get out of there – just stay away from the protected person."

- Tracy Neal, Open Justice