Man discharged over Hamilton drunk boy case
One of the men accused of supplying alcohol to a nine-year-old boy has been discharged without conviction.
The judge in the Hamilton District Court this afternoon ruled there was no "reliable evidence" to prove 27-year-old Michael King supplied alcohol to the boy, who was filmed drunk at a Hamilton skate park in January.
Two others were also accused of giving him alcohol. Twenty-year-old Kali Tiloi pleaded guilty this morning via audio-visual link (AVL) and was fined $750 plus $130 for court costs.
Lucy Snowden, 25, denies knowing the boy. She remains on trial and the judge will rule on her case tomorrow.
Footage of the boy posted to YouTube showed him stumbling and slurring at Fairfield Skate Park on his ninth birthday. The boy told police he later vomited at home, having drunk nearly three cans of Codys and doing two shots.
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However, in a subsequent video interview, a 13-year-old girl witness said the boy had six or eight cans of Codys - a pre-mixed burbon drink - along with the two shots.
The boy told police he was given the alcohol by Snowden, Tiloi and the 13-year-old girl. He made no mention of Mr King.
Snowden told the court she had been drinking under a tree at the park with Tiloi and Mr King on the day in question. They left to purchase more alcohol and went back to the park before going back to her house, leaving a bag with cans of Codys inside it on the back deck.
They later discovered some of the cans were missing, but both the young boy and girl denied taking them.
The 13-year-old girl gave evidence in court via AVL this afternoon. When questioned by Snowden and King's defence lawyers she denied supplying the boy with alcohol. She claimed Mr King gave him two drinks, Snowden provided him with three and Tiloi gave him "a few".
She said the boy thought he was cool drinking alcohol and that Snowden also provided him with a tobacco cigarette. The boy denied having smoked anything.
Senior Constable Joanne Porima told the court that when police arrived at Fairfield Park they found five empty Codys cans, six empty QF shots, and cardboard packaging.
When Snr Const Porima questioned Snowden at the time, she denied providing the boy with alcohol and said she drank a box of Codys herself.
Judge Ruth says he will review the evidence against Snowden and deliver his verdict tomorrow.