Judge praises drink-drive soldier

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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Judge Barbara Morris disqualified Kowai Te Ture from driving for six months and ordered him to pay court costs, analysts' fees and medical costs. PHOTO/FILE
Judge Barbara Morris disqualified Kowai Te Ture from driving for six months and ordered him to pay court costs, analysts' fees and medical costs. PHOTO/FILE

A soldier who pleaded guilty to drink-driving was commended by the judge for taking responsibility for his wrongdoing.

Kowai JD Te Ture, 22, pleaded guilty in Masterton District Court to driving with a blood alcohol level of 95mg, when the legal limit is 80mg, on October 24.

Te Ture was supported in court by an army warrant officer, who had written a letter in his support.

His lawyer, Virginia Pearson, said Te Ture had the option of applying for a discharge without conviction but "wants to take ownership and invites the court to sentence him today".

Ms Pearson said Te Ture had been at a family gathering and thought he was okay to drive.

She said there would be implications for Te Ture's employment.

"The conviction ... will kickstart a review process for him, with no guarantee of an outcome."

Ms Pearson said Te Ture is a physical training instructor in the New Zealand Army.

Judge Barbara Morris said she had read the letter concerning Te Ture and "it seems you are extremely highly regarded within the force".

"It seems you want to take responsibility for this, which is a real indicator of the remorse that you have," she said.

Judge Morris disqualified Te Ture from driving for six months and ordered him to pay court costs of $130, analysts' fees of $109 and medical costs of $403.88.

She told him: "I'm sure that the attitude you have taken today will stand you in good stead for the army to look on your situation most favourably, and I wish you all the best for that."

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