12 Jun 2014

Man cleared of giving boy alcohol

6:04 pm on 12 June 2014

One of two adults charged with giving alcohol to a nine-year-old boy has been discharged without conviction at the Hamilton District Court.

Michael King and Lucy Snowdon have been accused of supplying alcohol to a minor at a Hamilton park on 7 January this year. They were being tried before a judge only.

Judge David Ruth told Mr King on Thursday that he had heard no reliable evidence to show he had given the boy alcohol.

His partner, Ms Snowdon, remains accused. She told the court that she would never give a child drink and claimed the alcohol was stolen from her home.

The boy, who can't be named, appeared in court via a audio-visual link on Thursday. The court was shown a video interview recorded with him by police three days after the incident at Fairfield Park.

He spoke of being given four cans of Cody's, a mix of bourbon and cola, two full and two half-full and drinking them.

The boy was later filmed by a teenager at the park acting in a drunken state which received wide coverage on television and YouTube.

The boy's mother, who can't be identified, told the court her son coming home smelling of alcohol, looking drunk and vomiting several times.

After saying she didn't think it was a great idea children having alcohol, Judge Ruth told her it wasn't only that - but that it was also illegal.

A police officer who visited the boy's home on the evening told the court the mother told her that her son drinking and sniffing deodorant spray.

A 13-year-old girl, who is a friend of the boy's, also appeared in court and an interview done with her at the time was played. She said she tried to stop the boy drinking and denied under cross-examination that she had given him alcohol.

The trial ended on Thursday and Judge Ruth would give his decision on Friday morning.

A third person, Kali Tiloi, pleaded guilty to the same charge and was fined $750 and court costs of $130.