Frenchwoman jailed for 'intolerable' attitude

Photo / File
Photo / File

A Frenchwoman who until January had never been in trouble with the law has been sentenced to two months' jail and is now also subject to a deportation notice.

Susie Suptille, 30, a cleaner, was yesterday sentenced on five charges stemming from three separate incidents in Queenstown.

Those incidents involved driving on the wrong side of the road and hitting a taxi, disorderly behaviour and drug possession.

In Queenstown District Court, Judge Kevin Phillips said the only sentence available was one of imprisonment as "any other sentence is, in fact, hopeless".

"If I [fine you and] take away your money it means you can't go home; community work, you would go home without doing the sentence [and you] probably wouldn't pay a fine.

"I consider your overall attitude is such that you treat the police and the court process with absolute contempt.

"All of it, in the end, is intolerable."

Judge Phillips said Suptille was driving a work vehicle at 4.30am on January 1 when the resort's streets were full of New Year revellers. She was driving on the wrong side of the road when a taxi came around a bend, directly into her path.

"That driver had to swerve but in the end your car hit the ... taxi."

Suptille didn't stop and continued driving until she reached her home. There, she got into the passenger's seat.

Judge Phillips said the taxi driver followed her and called police.

After a positive breath test, Suptille was informed she had to accompany police to the Queenstown station and instead she refused and attempted to run to her house.

She was arrested and taken to the police station where an evidential breath alcohol test gave a reading of 765mcg.

"You said you were not driving; you were asleep in the passenger's side; and in France you were used to driving on the other side of the road and, if I recall, it was the fault of the law rather than your fault."

Suptille again came to police attention on February 20 when she was arrested for disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence following an incident in Queenstown.

The final charge stemmed from a visit to Queenstown police station on March 15, seeking a photocopy of her passport to enable her to book tickets home.

While there Suptille was told she had failed to come to the door for a bail check. At the station she was searched and 1g of cannabis was found in her clothing.

Defence counsel Mike Newell said Suptille wanted to "express her remorse".

"She's never been in trouble before coming here - she clearly has some alcohol issues. She's not someone who is an habitual criminal ... she's sorry for the trouble she's caused while she's been here.

"She did express to me ... that she would have liked an opportunity to contribute something back to the New Zealand community in recompense for some of the harm that she has done while she's been here."

Judge Phillips said Suptille's deportation notice was served on March 25 and she had 14 days in which to appeal it to the compliance manager and a further 28 days in which to appeal it on humanitarian grounds.

For drink-driving she was sentenced to two months' imprisonment, with no leave to apply for a substitute sentence, and disqualified for six months.

For dangerous driving she was also sentenced to two months' imprisonment and disqualified for six months and for refusing to accompany she was disqualified for three months.

On the disorderly charge she was sentenced to one month imprisonment and for possession of cannabis she was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment.

All sentences were to be served concurrently.

- Otago Daily Times

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