Boy star James Rolleston sentenced after admitting to driving dangerously in crash that nearly killed him

Kiwi actor James Rolleston has been sentenced to 200 hours community service, 12 months disqualification from driving and 12 months supervision after admitting to dangerous driving causing injury.

The much-loved Boy actor appeared in the Opotiki District Court dressed in a smart black suit.

He was accompanied by a documentary film crew and his lawyer Ron Mansfield.

Rolleston was driving the vehicle which crashed into the Otara Bridge on State Highway 35 in July last year.

The Dark Horse star had to be cut from the wreckage, and spent a month in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit.

He required skin grafts to his badly damaged leg and speech therapy.

His close friend Kaleb Maxwell was also injured in the crash.

Rolleston issued a statement earlier this year where he said he intended to plead guilty.

"I have learned to appreciate life a lot more and to be grateful for what I have," the statement said.

Today Ron Mansfield told the court on the night of the crash Rolleston drove "like an idiot", something he was hopeless at, adding that he's "the nicest young man I've had the pleasure of acting for".

Mr Mansfield said his client is remorseful, and has accepted what has happened and taken practical steps to address his offending.

Judge Louis Bidois told the court Rolleston has demonstrated remorse and "takes responsibility for his actions".

The Judge also said the 20-year-old is lucky to be alive, and has taken steps to inform others about road safety.

However he did say Rolleston "sped, lost control and crashed", and spoke at length about the risks young people face when driving on the road.

In court Rolleston was supported by a large number of whanau and friends.


Seven Sharp is there as the Kiwi actor meets the ambulance staff who saved his life. Source: Seven Sharp



Student pilot charged after allegedly trying to steal passenger plane in the US

A 22-year-old student pilot suspected of boarding a vacant passenger plane at a central Florida airport yesterday has been charged with criminal attempt to steal an airplane, officials said.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating and trying to determine a motive in the case, according to Orlando-Melbourne International Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker.

She told news outlets the student pilot, identified as Florida Institute of Technology student Nishal Sankat, also faces a visa violation and criminal trespassing charges.

Early yesterday, a man drove to the curb outside the airport, left his car running, hopped a fence and boarded an Airbus 321 American Airlines aircraft sitting in a maintenance facility, Booker said.

An avionics technician was in the plane's galley when he saw a shadow, Booker said.

"He turned around and said, 'Who are you? Show me your badge," Booker told news outlets. She said the technician was among airport workers she dubbed heroes.

He grabbed the man and, with help from another technician, they got him off the plane. Booker said that while one technician held the man down, the other called Melbourne airport police.

The man broke free and ran along the airfield before police took him into custody about two minutes later.

After the man was arrested, officials conducted a sweep of the airfield before re-opening the airport.

All employees and passengers were removed from the terminal during the incident, which caused two flight delays and interrupted airport operations for about five hours.

Police searched the student pilot's car with a robotic arm to make sure no explosives were inside, Booker said. The car was then towed from the airport.

The airport returned to normal operations after five hours.

Booker said the student pilot is from Trinidad and entered the United States through Canada. The spokeswoman said he has a Florida driver's licence.

The man had jumped the fence and made it to the Airbus' flight deck. Source: US ABC

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Community demands answers over what caused kids to become seriously ill at a Carterton school

The Wairarapa community are demanding answers to what caused children at Carterton South End's school to become sick, after a strange smell wafted over the school yesterday afternoon.

Police ruled out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school.

Parents at the school are angered and want answers as to what caused the illnesses.

Cody Pratt's daughter was one of the students who vomited after smelling a sulphur like substance.

"It was scary having my daughter in the school premises and being told I couldn't go in to get her was pretty daunting," said Mr Pratt.

"I definitely want to know what has gone on.

"Children came in after lunch and reported feeling unwell after the substance, or smelling a smell," he said.

Ten students were taken to hospital but returned to their homes last night.

The school was cleared to be re-opened for classes on Monday.

Police say they have conducted a thorough examination of the school and still haven't found a point of cause.

Police inquiries will now focus on the surrounding neighbourhood.

Police now believe they can rule out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school. Source: 1 NEWS

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Council trees in central Otago being chopped down by people helping themselves to the timber

The Central Otago council has called on police help to crack down on people illegally cutting down council trees.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan argues that the stumps in central Otago are evidence of illegal felling of trees by members of the public.

"Randomly coming up and knocking trees down without taking any safety measures in a place that the public walk their dogs, ride their bikes and so forth is actually really dangerous, as well as theft," said Mr Cadogan.

Culprits have been forced to hand the wood over to local charities when they have been caught.

But the council now says they will be handing the thieves over to police.

"We can't just keep taking that attitude so from now on it's going to be prosecutions, no questions asked, no warnings."

Families in need of timber in Alexandra are urged to use other sources, like the Salvation Army who hand out free and low cost wood, with the Rotary Club helping to split donated costs.

Alexandra Rotary president Charles French says this option is much safer.

"It is available here and there isn't really any need for people to go their own way with this," said Mr French.

The council says their concern is the safety of the public and the thieves.

It's becoming such a problem across the region the council's now cracking down and involving police. Source: 1 NEWS


Man dies after falling into Mt Ruapehu's Crater Lake

A man has died after falling into Crater Lake at Mount Ruapehu.

Emergency services were flown to the scene via helicopter at around 1.50pm.

The man was recovered from the lake by members of the group he was with before emergency services arrived.

The death will be referred to the Coroner.

Mt Ruapehu's crater lake. Source: 1 NEWS