New charges have been laid against four Chinese drivers alleged to have been doing tourist driving when they did not hold the proper New Zealand licences.
The new charges were laid when the men’s cases were listed at the Christchurch District Court today, six weeks after the police began the prosecutions.
The police alleged last month that unlicensed drivers were driving on the Milford Road. They said in court that some drivers without appropriate licences had been tour driving for the Christchurch company, Alps Travel.
Diversion is being offered to Jiayuan Chen, a 24-year-old man living at Lincoln, who acknowledged a guilty plea to a charge of giving false or misleading information when he applied for a driver’s licence in Christchurch on January 18.
That charge was before the court for the first time today. Police prosecutor Aja Trinder asked for Crimes Act charges against Chen to be withdrawn. They alleged he had aided someone without the appropriate licence to drive on the State Highway 94 at Te Anau, and that he made a driver’s licence available for a monetary advantage.
Judge Allan Roberts withdrew those charges and accepted the acknowledgement of the guilty plea on the new charge, and remanded Chen to December 13 for the diversion to be completed.
Diversion allows a first offender charged with a less serious offence to make amends – sometimes with a donation and an apology – and avoid having a conviction.
Judge Roberts told him he would not have to come back to court if he completed the process.
Xu Cao, a 31-year-old man living at Lake Hayes, in the Queenstown district, faced a new charge of making a false statement in a vehicle logbook at Te Anau in February. He entered not plea and was remanded on bail to October 28, for a plea to be entered.
Cao also pleaded not guilty to a charge of dishonestly using a driver’s licence in another name at Te Anau in February, and was remanded to a case review hearing on December 6 on that charge. The police withdrew four earlier charges.
Suyan Qi, a 21-year-old man living at Avonhead, Christchurch, was granted a registrar’s remand on new charges of making a false statement in a vehicle logbook at Te Anau in February, and producing a logbook containing a false detail to a police officer. He has entered no pleas, and was also remanded on earlier charges of driving without the appropriate licence and dishonestly using a document.
Jiasheng Wu, a 24-year-old man from Upper Riccarton, Christchurch, faced new charges producing a logbook with a false detail, and making a false statement in a vehicle logbook, both at Te Anau on February 11.
He did not appear at court. Because the charges are only category 1 offences, no warrants can be issued. They will be put into another list court on another date, possibly for a formal proof hearing if Wu does not appear again.