A young man from Oamaru who damaged the windshields of eight vehicles at the Queenstown Police Station will be freed without a conviction after he pays for the repair in full.
Liam Christopher McGregor (18), a building apprentice, appeared before Queenstown District Court Judge John Brandts-Giesen earlier this week.
He admitted nine counts related to his offense on July 18 this year, in which he caused intentional damage to the windshields of two private vehicles and six police vehicles, and resisted arrest.
McGregor was sitting outside a convenience store in Camp St around 3 a.m. when he shouted obscenities and gestured rudely at two police officers in a passing patrol car.
When they stopped and approached the accused to ask if he was okay, he mistreated them and spat in the face of an officer.
When the police were called in about an incident nearby, he followed them and continued cursing.
He then drove to the police station parking lot and cracked a vehicle’s windshield, then set his phone to film himself as he damaged a second vehicle.
He then stomped on the windshields of six patrol cars before being arrested.
Attorney Megan McCrostie said McGregor’s offense was spontaneous and caused by his binge drinking while taking medication.
A social media post he made after his first court appearance was “unfortunate and stupid,” Ms McCrostie said.
“I think it just highlights his immaturity, his age and the mental health issues he was facing at the time.”
However, he had no previous convictions, was making efforts to rehabilitate, and had paid $ 5,500 of the $ 10,079.45 he owed in compensation.
Convictions would be detrimental to his mental health, future employability and ability to travel internationally.
Prosecution Sergeant Ian Collin said Inspector Paula Enoka, commander of the Otago Lakes-Central region, had personally reviewed the case and determined that police would take a neutral stance on the request for release.
This was an unusual step which recognized that the Respondent had “slumped” and made progress in resolving his issues.
Sgt Collin requested that the decision to grant release be made conditional on the defendant paying the full amount of compensation.
Judge Brandts-Giesen said the police stance was “remarkably generous”.
He told McGregor that he had caused enormous damage and that he had “behaved in a shameful manner” towards the constable he had mistreated.
“It shows all the signs of complete oblivion and stupidity.
“It is beyond belief that anyone could behave this way.”
However, he could not ignore the fact that the accused had worked hard to pay for reparations.
He would grant a release after the defendant had paid all the reparations owed, as well as a payment of $ 1,000 for pain and suffering to the constable.