A Matamata dry stock farmer was labeled a “menace” who could have killed people while being sentenced on four Maritime Transport Act charges in the Morrinsville District Court this week.
The charges related to a series of incidents during a drinking binge at Lake Karapiro in December 2012.
Matthew Dodd was convicted and sentenced to 100 hours community work, nine months supervision and ordered to undertake drug and alcohol counselling and a boat safety course as a result of the prosecution bought by the Waikato Regional Council.
In December last year Mr Dodd purchased a large quantity of assorted alcohol and travelled to Lake Karapiro with his 3.5 metre boat.
At the lake he started binge drinking while operating his boat at various locations around the lake. He was described by a number of people as being extremely intoxicated while continuing to operate his vessel.
Over the following 24 hours Mr Dodd was involved in a series of separate incidents where he placed other recreational lake users at risk. These incidents involved near and actual collisions with a group of wake-boarders, kayakers and a young family.
One incident involved Mr Dodd narrowly missing a two year old child, then immediately colliding with a boat, while operating his own vessel at speed.
Another incident involved him driving his vessel completely across the top of another vessel causing minor injury to its occupant.
At sentencing Judge Ruth commented that boats could be “more lethal than cars” and that Mr Dodd was “a menace” who could have killed. “If I had the power to ban you forever (from boating) I would do so,” the judge said.
Orders were also made for reparation to two parties for damages to two boats.