More charges against ‘Momma Doof’

Additional charges have been laid against “Momma Doof” – Theresa Anne Soper – and her trial on a liquor supply allegation has been delayed.

The charge of allowing unlicensed premises “to be used as a place of resort for the consumption of alcohol” was meant to go ahead as a formal proof hearing today.

A formal proof hearing is held when a defendant does not appear at a defended hearing on a less serious charge, which is what happened earlier. A new date is then set for formal proof, with or without the defendant.

The police were ready to go ahead with presenting their paperwork to Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar, but Soper, also known as Beardsley, was present at court.

The 48-year-old demolition worker had been picked up by the police on a charge of failing to come to court last week on a charge of possession of a restricted weapon – a taser.

That meant three charges were before the judge when her case was called today.

Around the time of her arrest on the liquor supply charge in November, Soper was interviewed by Stuff about hosting parties for up to 400 teenagers, some as young as 16, on premises known as the Belfast Barn Bar on the Main North Road. She said she was known as “Momma Doof”.

Soper had no lawyer at the hearing, but Judge Kellar urged her to get legal advice because the liquor charge was quite technical and she could not be expected to understand all the intricacies of the legislation.

Soper said she wished to maintain her not guilty plea. He urged her to apply for legal aid, but she said she could consider getting her own counsel.

Judge Kellar adjourned all the charges to a new case review hearing on May 28, which may send them on for trial.

She is on bail with conditions that she live at an address in Woodend and not possess any restricted weapon.

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