Shearer avoids jail term

By court reporter

Aaron Coley's excellent work record as a world-class shearer was one of the mitigating factors that saved him from going to prison.

The 27-year-old last week appeared in the Whanganui District Court before Judge Dugald Mathieson who told the shearer that at first blush it looked like he would be going to prison for his third excessive drink driving charge in three years, and third driving disqualification in eight years.

Coley's counsel Peter Brosnahan said that away from the bottle, Coley was a "top guy", who was seriously addressing the issue.

He had participated in restorative justice, was receiving alcohol and drug counselling with MidCentral Health and had the support of his partner.

Coley also had excellent references from his employer.

At 5.40am on New Year's day, a member of the public saw Coley driving erratically on State Highway 4. That person was so concerned they contacted the police.

The police stopped Coley who blew 1045mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.

Judge Mathieson sentenced Coley to six months' electronic community detention from 7.30pm-4.30am, seven days a week, starting from September 24.

At the end of his sentence Coley will be supervised for six months under the control of Probation and must undergo a drug and alcohol assessment to the satisfaction of his probation officer.

On driving with excess alcohol, Coley was disqualified indefinitely, and he was disqualified from driving for a period of 18 months on a previous charge of driving while disqualified.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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