Passport charge involving ‘unruly tourist’ dropped

Police have dropped a passport charge that involved “unruly tourist” James Nolan escaping New Zealand on a false passport.

In the Christchurch District Court today police withdrew the charge that Irishman James Doyle had given his passport to a wanted man and “unruly tourist” James Nolan, so that Nolan evaded customs when he left the country.

Nolan was wanted in relation to an alleged roofing scam, and also faced charges of assault, reckless driving, and fraud.

Customs blamed human error for his leaving the country.

Doyle today admitted he had tried to leave New Zealand with his brother’s passport. He was sentenced to five months’ prison, and will either leave again by his own volition or be deported when he is released.

Doyle arrived in New Zealand on January 18 on a visitor’s visa, and was arrested on April 1 for attempting to use the false passport to leave.

He has been in custody since then, and will be eligible to leave within the next 7 to 10 days.

Defence counsel Andrew McKenzie said people from the Immigration Department had met Doyle and will help him voluntarily leave New Zealand before he gets deported.

Judge Tom Gilbert said someone had used Doyle’s passport previously, but the charge that linked Doyle to that offending had been withdrawn.

He said New Zealand had a strong interest in protecting its borders.

He sentenced Doyle to five months in prison, and did not impose any release conditions.