By GREGG WYCHERLEY
The truck driver involved in an accident-scene fight with Ross Meurant said the former MP and policeman did not use his police experience to help control the situation.
Meurant, 54, was yesterday ordered to pay $1190 in fines and court costs after admitting in the Hamilton District Court charges of inconsiderate driving, assault and impersonating a police officer.
Truck driver Nigel Greenslade admitted punching Meurant, but said he did so only after being forced to jump out of the way of Meurant's car when the former MP refused to wait until it was safe to drive through the accident scene on the Desert Rd last October.
Meurant then dished out some retaliatory punches.
Mr Greenslade said that despite claims Meurant's lawyer made in court, Meurant had never mentioned any desire to help control the accident scene, and was more concerned with getting through the traffic jam as soon as possible.
He said Meurant's actions had hindered efforts to help people who had been seriously hurt, and he had made no effort to use his police experience to help control the scene.
"I had to get back to that car to start administering first aid and get the road clear so emergency vehicles could get in there," Mr Greenslade said.
He told Meurant: "If you're a copper, you're not much of a copper. You should be here helping us, not causing trouble."
Mr Greenslade later admitted a charge of assault and was discharged on the grounds that a conviction would outweigh the seriousness of the crime.
Yesterday, Judge Denise Clark refused Meurant's request for a discharge on the assault and impersonation charges because she had no evidence that convictions on these would have a negative impact on his career.
She said Meurant was the author of his own misfortunes, and the fight had stemmed from his inconsiderate driving in the first place.
"I am troubled as to why there was a need for you to pass yourself off as a police officer. I do not consider the event trivial."
Outside court yesterday Meurant, who lives in Matangi, near Cambridge, blamed a police vendetta for his troubles, claiming that police headquarters in Wellington "were single-minded in their attempt to get me".
He said the vendetta dated back to his time in Parliament in the 1980s, when he attacked police for fraudulent abuse of the Police Employment Rehabilitation Fund (Perf) scheme.
"I have no doubt that this is payback time."
By GREGG WYCHERLEY