11 Mar 2019

Contractor one of 'three idiot farm boys' who assaulted Queenstown tourists

3:22 pm on 11 March 2019

You could call it karma. Contractor Daniel James Parker, 27, of Patearoa, appeared in the dock before Judge John Brandts-Giesen in the Queenstown District Court today to be dealt with for assaulting three tourists in Queenstown while he was on a stag do.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

His lawyer, Keiran Tohill, pointed out injuries to Parker's face - a broken eye socket and "cracked cheek" - sustained the week after that incident while on another stag do in Dunedin, where he was assaulted by an unknown man and taken to hospital.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin said at 10.30pm on February 8 Parker was with two associates in the Queenstown CBD and walking near the waterfront at Earnslaw Park.

An unidentified man was walking towards them.

"The defendant charged at the man and knocked him to the ground with his shoulder and kept walking."

Next the trio encountered 60-year-old Guonglu Suo, of China, who was near the edge of the lake with his wife and daughter.

One of Parker's associates ran up to him and kicked him in the back of the lower leg, knocking him off balance.

Parker followed up by forcefully pushing the tourist, knocking him off his feet and causing him to tumble down four concrete steps and in to the water - his phone and a packet of cigarettes were destroyed and he sustained bruising to his ankle.

The tourist was helped by other members of the public while Parker and his friends ''congratulated each other with high fives'' and laughed as they made their way to The Mall.

Outside Country Road Parker pushed another unknown male against the building, touched him around the face and tried to get him to engage in a fight.

The entire incident was captured on CCTV cameras and when he was spoken to by police he refused to comment.

The defendant was located nearby and refused to comment.

Judge Brandts-Giesen asked Mr Tohill "how drunk were they?"

"Very,'' the lawyer replied.

"The defendant doesn't remember much of the incident."

Mr Tohill said Parker was "not a violent man'' because ''he can't be".

That was because "half his arm'' was shot off in a duck shooting accident in Maniototo some years ago, resulting in a ''withered right arm''.

"I know the court could look at it [as] street thuggery . . . however [it was] three idiot farm boys from the Maniototo who were in the big tourist town on a stag do and drank too much alcohol and didn't treat [others] the way they would expect to be treated.

"He stands before you remorseful, stupid, and absolutely appalled with himself and his behaviour.''

Judge Brandts-Giesen said Parker's behaviour ''defies belief''.

"You're about to have a child.

"That child should be able to look up to you and not be stigmatised by the fact that is father is a well-known, violent drunk.''

On each of the three charges of assault he was fined $1200 and ordered to pay $130 court costs.

He was also ordered to pay Mr Suo $836 reparation for his cell phone and $32 for cigarettes and was sentenced to 12 months' supervision to ''make you a safer person and the streets a safer place from your lunatic activities''.

Fines and reparation were to be paid today.

This story was first published by the Otago Daily Times.