Home' Greymouth Star : January 25th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 5
The 24-year-old farm worker whose
vehicle crashed into a ditch as he was
driving home who then made the fateful
decision to continue his trek by foot was
a “really nice guy’’ who planned to make
New Zealand home.
Michael William Spink, from North
Yorkshire in England, was killed about
10km further down the road after he was
hit by a car on State highway 27 just after
midnight on Saturday.
Police released his name yesterday and
said Spink had been in New Zealand for
about eight months working and living
on a farm in the area.
Waharoa farmer Eric Muckle who
owned the farm Spink was working on
in Waharoa said he had moved to New
Zealand in July for work.
Mr Muckle said Mr Spink was a really
nice guy and his death had affected the
farm and workers.
“ We are all grieving at the moment.
He loved it here. He was just embracing
the style of farming that he really loved.
I think his idea was that he might even
come and make a stay here.’’
Mr Spink had been farming in the
United Kingdom before he moved over
and the news of his death had shocked
his British-based family.
Police inquiries have established he
had been socialising with friends in
Matamata earlier in the night.
At 11.30pm, he left Matamata in his
“ His vehicle was located shortly after in
a ditch on State Highway 27.’’
Police said it appeared he had exited his
vehicle and decided to walk about 10km
to the farm where he was living.
“As he has been walking north along
State Highway 27 towards Waharoa,
he has been struck from behind by a
A post-mortem examination was
conducted yesterday and police are
awaiting the results of a toxicology
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Workers repair wire rope in the Cromwell Gorge yesterday.
Driver’s attempted murder charge
A 20-year-old German man will appear in
the Q ueenstown District Court tomorrow
after being charged with attempted murder in
relation to the alleged failed attempt to drive
his van, with a passenger inside, into Lake
In a statement, police said the man’s attempt
to drive the van into the lake failed, as the
front wheel of the van became caught in the
crash barrier, about 10km south of Cromwell
at Italian Creek, about 8pm on Sunday.
It is understood the woman in the vehicle
was the man’s girlfriend.
The man appeared in the Q ueenstown
District Court on Monday on charges relating
to events on the same day.
They were one charge of male assaults
female, one charge of driving while forbidden,
and one charge of drink-driving (584mg) on
the Cromwell-Clyde Road.
At that appearance he was remanded in
custody until tomorrow for a bail hearing.
After the incident at Italian Creek, a
black car travelling towards Alexandra from
Cromwell stopped and gave the driver of the
crashed van a ride.
Police want to hear from the driver of the
black car, anyone who witnessed the incident,
or saw a 1997 white Toyota Lite Ace van
driving in the Cromwell Gorge about 8pm on
Sunday. — Otago Daily Times
shift to NZ
A Dunedin man has admitted
setting up secret cameras in a
public toilet and in the changing
rooms of Moana Pool.
pornography was discovered
by police only when a woman
came for ward with concerns the
48-year-old was sexually abusing
She found inappropriate text
messages between the defendant
and her son and made a
complaint to authorities.
On September 14, police
executed a search warrant
at Pearson’s rented “bedsit ’’
accommodation in Maryhill.
In a drawer they found a
“small covert pin-hole camera’’,
equipped with internal memory
and a remote control.
“Attached to the camera was
a blob of Blue Tack adhesive,’’ a
summary of facts said.
Specialist officers reviewed
the hardware and were able to
recover still images but the video
files had been either deleted or
They found between 2014 and
2016 Pearson had hidden the
camera inside the public toilet on
He fixed the device to the
sanitary bin in the unisex unit
opposite the Mornington Night
‘n Day store and police recovered
four images of males urinating.
There were also images from a
video Pearson had taken inside
the changing rooms at Moana
Pool. “ It appears the defendant
had hidden the camera inside a
bag which he then carried into
the pool complex,’’ police said.
There were images of two
teenage boys and an eight-year-
old getting changed and a man in
his 60s showering naked.
Further investigation of the
device found Pearson had also
hidden the camera in a disco
ball above a toilet used by several
residents in his hostel.
The same search that saw
the pin-hole camera found
in Pearson’s room also saw a
desktop computer seized.
A forensic analysis showed
there were 268 pictures and
three videos on the hard drive,
several of which fell into the
most serious category of child
The most serious offending
admitted by Pearson yesterday
involved actual sexual abuse of
Court documents revealed
how he would befriend single
mothers to a point where they
were comfortable leaving their
children with him.
One woman even trusted
Pearson enough to let her child
go on holiday with him.
At times between April and
August last year, all three of the
children would stay with the
He would play a game called
“spoons’’ with them, the summary
said, which involved cutlery and
a deck of cards.
invariably be the loser each time
the game was played, and would
end up naked in front of the
children,’’ it said.
It would continue until
everyone was naked and then
Pearson would take them into
Pearson was remanded in
custody following yesterday ’s
guilty pleas and will be sentenced
Dunedin City Council parks
and recreation acting group
manager Jendi Paterson said any
such incident in council buildings
was treated very seriously and she
was not aware of any offending
like it in recent years.
— Otago Daily Times
Pool paedophile caught
Student debt balloons
Student loan debt has “ ballooned’’
under National, Labour says, with
the average student now $21,000
in the red.
The comments came after a
Government stocktake of the
student loan scheme was released
in an annual report for the 2016
year, showing costs have tracked up
while participation has declined.
Almost 731,800 people have a
student loan, with a nominal total
of $15.3 billion of debt.
More than 90% of students
borrow in order to pay their fees, the Ministry of
Education report said, with the largest increase
in costs coming from hikes to fees.
In 2015, $1073 million was drawn from the
loan scheme to pay for fees — 64% of all money
borrowed that year.
The second largest driver of costs was the cost
of living, the report said, representing 26.1% of
all money drawn in 2015.
In that same year, the average amount
borrowed was $8888, an increase of 3.5% on the
previous year. A similar increase was seen from
the 2013 to 2014 year.
Bachelor degree students borrowed an average
of $9676 each in 2015, while masters and
post-graduate students borrowed an average of
Students were leaving university with an
average of between $16,600 and $17,220 of
debt, with bachelor students tending to have the
largest volume of borrowing, the report found.
Labour’s education spokesman Chris Hipkins
said student loan debt “continues to balloon’’
under the current Government.
“Participation in tertiary education peaked
in 2009-10 and has been steadily
declining ever since as the effects
of a National Government bed in,’’
“ Meanwhile the accumulated
debt of those who do complete
tertiary study has been climbing
steadily, increasing a whopping
37% under National compared to
just 9% under the previous Labour
The average loan balance at June
30 was close to $21,000, the report
said, while the average time it
takes a graduate to repay their loan
is now 8.4 years.
Record amounts of student debt are being
written off for bankruptcy, with $17.6m wiped
from the books in the 2015-16 year. Because of
the death of the borrower, $15m was written off.
“National are saddling future generations with
huge debt and it’s getting worse not better,’’
Mr Hipkins said, accusing the Government of
trying to “sneak these figures out ’’.
“Declining participation rates are really
concerning. If we are to provide all New
Zealanders with the opportunity to adapt to
the changing needs of the economy and society,
and to fulfil their own potential, we need to see
participation in tertiary education increasing,
not decreasing. ’’
The number of domestic students enrolled
in tertiary education has declined since 2005,
which the report said was mainly due to a
decline in enrolments in certificate-level
qualifications following moves to strengthen
The number of full-time equivalent student
places reached a peak in 2010, and has declined
since. — NZ ME
An Auckland man who previously escaped a
conviction for beating his wife with a hammer
has now been handed a jail term.
Yasi Mohib pleaded guilty to three violence
charges — common assault, assault with a
weapon and threatening behaviour — and
was discharged without conviction by Judge
She ruled the consequences of convictions
were out of proportion to the gravity of the
offending, in particular the possibility Mohib,
who has three New Zealand-born children,
might be deported to Pakistan, despite the legal
principle that a sentencing judge should not
usurp the role of immigration authorities.
The controversial decision was later overturned
by the High Court and labelled “plainly wrong”
by Justice Edwin Wylie, who said the district
court judge failed to correctly identify the
seriousness of the attack.
He sent the case back to the Auckland
District Court for a new hearing, where Judge
Grant Fraser sentenced Mohib to 12 months
He sentenced Mohib to the year imprisonment
after giving a discount of six months for his
early guilty plea, remorse, clean record and an
acknowledgement of how difficult a prison
sentence would be for a foreign national.
However, Mohib has now appealed against
the prison sentence and the case will again be
heard in the High Court next week.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
Jail for hammer attack on wife
Three D unedin 21-year-olds have been
jailed for a total of nearly 13 years after
an armed robbery that scored them only
$450 and an ounce of cannabis.
The planned hit on a house in
Craigleith Street, in North-east Valley,
was executed on May 13 at 1.45am.
Four masked men entered into the
property carrying between them a BB
gun, a fence paling, a knife, a wheel brace
and an axe, to demand cash and drugs
from the occupants.
Swade James Davis, Caleb Maaka
Unahi and Logan William Heydon all
appeared in the D unedin District Court
yesterday having admitted being behind
Three others were also allegedly
Davis received the longest jail term of
the three in court — five and a half years
— but was told by the judge to consider
himself fortunate it was not more.
Only eight days after the aggravated
robbery he head-butted a man while they
were queuing to get into an Octagon bar,
knocking him to the ground.
Later, while on remand at Otago
Corrections Facility, he attacked his cell
mate, putting the man in a choke hold
and head-butting him in the mouth.
The man sustained cuts, bruises and
had a tooth extracted.
“ You have a very major propensity for
violence,’’ Judge Phillips said.
Unahi, who was suffering a mental
illness at the time, was locked up for four
Heydon was imprisoned for three years
His role was limited to being a driver
and he did not enter the house, the judge
He quashed any suggestion though
that Heydon was in the dark about the
Police had acquired text message data
between the men which Judge Phillips
said made it clear.
“ You knew what was going to happen.”
— Otago Daily Times
for armed raid
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