It was a case of bubble, bubble, bail and trouble in the Invercargill District Court yesterday, when people who had been arrested overnight went before Judge Bernadette Farnan.

Five people appeared on arrest matters, including Cole Douglas Peter Ottley, who was charged with discharging a firearm with reckless disregard for others, intentional obstruction of a police officer and resisting arrest, all in Invercargill on Sunday, March 29.

Ottley said he had driven to his friend's house "across the other side of town" on Sunday.

"Do you not know what's happening?" Judge Farnan asked Ottley.


"Do you know people are dying of coronavirus? Do you know you weren't allowed to go to your mate's house?"

Ottley said he did not watch television and did not have Facebook.

Judge Bernadette Farnan in the Invercargill District Court. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Judge Bernadette Farnan in the Invercargill District Court. Photo / Otago Daily Times

However, when questioned, he admitted the meat works where he was employed had been adapted so staff could work 2m apart.

Judge Farnan gave Ottley a warning about breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

"I'm just wanting to keep us all safe.

"Everyone appearing in front of me will likely be getting a similar sort of lecture."

Micah Skerret, who was appearing on a domestic assault charge, could not be bailed to his previous "bubble" address.

An address put forward by Skerret was deemed to be unsuitable when people who were living there said their bubble was "compromised", his defence counsel, Tanya McCullum, said.


After phone calls were made to make alternative arrangements, he was remanded without plea and bailed to The Grand accommodation.

Judge Farnan also gave police and lawyers directives for all bail applicants who needed to move address.

The court would need to see information about who was living in the bubble at the proposed house, what the health status of the defendant was, what the health status was of people living at the proposed residence and how defendants would get to the new dwelling.

She warned anyone who could not find a suitable location, or transport to it, would risk being remanded in custody. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website