Aussie groom's Queenstown hangover: 'Stag do gone horribly wrong'

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 27 November 2018, 11:11a.m.
The Australian groom-to-be waded into Lake Wakatipu to 'avoid contact' with police.
The Australian groom-to-be waded into Lake Wakatipu to 'avoid contact' with police.

An Australian tiler was given three convictions as a belated wedding gift by Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

Defence counsel Paige Noorland described the circumstances leading to 25-year-old Taylor Graeme Ryan's appearance in the dock as "simply a stag do gone horribly wrong''.

Prosecutor Sergeant Ian Collin said the Perth native arrived in Queenstown last Thursday with friends and began drinking in the early evening.

At 10.45pm police were called to an incident on Marine Pde in which Ryan had become involved in an altercation with several others.

Bystanders, including the defendant's two brothers, tried to intervene and "de-escalate the situation'', Collin said.

When police arrived, Ryan was identified by a witness as being involved - his reaction was to wade into Lake Wakatipu to "avoid contact''.

After 15 minutes, his brothers entered the water, about 7degC at the time, to try to bring him out, but he refused and remained "in waist-deep water under a wall, refusing to come out''.

"Due to fears for their safety, police were forced to enter the water.''

Ryan refused to co-operate with Constable Matthew Hargreaves, was arrested and then refused to accompany police, ultimately punching Constable Ian Madden in the chest.

Collin said pepper spray was deployed and described its use as "effective''.

Noorland asked for Ryan, in the resort for his wedding on Saturday, to be discharged without conviction on all three charges. However, Judge Brandts-Giesen refused.

While Judge Brandts-Giesen appreciated Ryan had come to Queenstown "for a good time'' his entry to Lake Wakatipu was "not a very good idea''.

"You actually put yourself and other people at risk by being in the water.

"You're lucky that you were put into the paddy wagon rather than a hearse.

"The police have a job to do ... their job shouldn't made any harder than it is and this court will protect the police when they are acting within the course of their duty.''

For resisting police Ryan was fined $300 and ordered to pay $130 court costs, he was fined another $400 and ordered to additional court costs of $130 court costs for assaulting police and was convicted and discharged for disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.

All fines and costs were to be paid by noon yesterday.

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