A Runanga man yesterday admitted two charges of assault on French tourists in Greymouth in August 2014.

Dillon Tucker, 28, had denied the charges but changed his plea before a defended hearing was about to start in the Greymouth District Court yesterday.

Tucker decided to admit the offences after police downgraded one of the charges from assault with intent to injure, to common assault.

On August 24, 2014, Tucker approached two vehicles parked on Mawhera Quay and asked for a ride.


Police prosecutor Michelle Payne said Tucker was drunk and when the tourists refused him a ride he became agitated.

He kicked one of the tourists, a 22-year-old man, in the buttocks and three times in the face. When a woman intervened Tucker lashed out at her also, striking her in the forehead and causing her to fall to the ground.

When Tucker was arrested he denied the assaults and claimed he had been punched.

Defence lawyer Liz Bulger said Tucker told her it was a "two-way incident" and the police summary of facts did not reflect that.

Convicting Tucker, Judge Stephen O'Driscoll told him to get his current community work completed before he appeared for sentencing on April 5.

"There are no promises, however, as to what your sentence will be," Judge O'Driscoll said.