Charges over Queenstown mall melee

June 26, 2017 | By More

A 24-year-old Christchurch man must pay $3000 to two rivals he bashed unconscious with one punch each in an all-in New Year brawl at a Queenstown mall.

Thomas Taylor Allison was also ordered to do 200 hours of community work by Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan at his sentencing on two unusual charges.

Queenstown police charged Allison, and a second offender who was dealt with in Southland, with injuring in circumstances where if death had occurred he would have been guilty of manslaughter.

The other offender, Daniel Francis Oliver, 24, was earlier sentenced to 275 hours of community work, a year on supervision, and $3000 in emotional harm reparations.

Allison’s defence counsel Allister Davis said his client deserved a lighter community work sentence because he was a first offender while Oliver had previous convictions in 2015 for assault and injuring.

The mall melee took place on December 29, 2015, when two groups confronted each other in central Queenstown.

He said Allison had been in Queenstown with his friends when there had been an altercation with another group. The confrontation had stopped but had started up later when the other group advanced on Allison and his friends, who were out-numbered.

The charges were originally going to be defended on the basis of self-defence but after viewing the video of the incident it was clear that self-defence was not tenable, he said. “The defence was disproportionate to the threat.”

Allison admitted felling two rivals with one punch each. “They must have been good punches,” said Mr Davis, because they left both men lying unconscious in the mall.

Judge Callaghan said he accepted that Allison was a first offender who might not have been the instigator of the confrontation.

Both victims had been taken to hospital but had not needed any long term medical care.

Allison was “pro-social” and came from a stable and supportive family and background.

He imposed the 200-hour community work sentence, with an emotional harm payment of $1500 to each victim. “I don’t see the need for supervision,” said the judge.

 

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