Quake victim fails to appear


An arrest warrant was issued in the Greymouth District Court this week when a Christchurch earthquake victim failed to front to answer a series of driving charges arising from an episode in South Westland, on February 24.
Michael Joseph Coster, 38, was one of the men reported missing in the carnage of the February 22 earthquake, but he had actually been in custody at the Greymouth police station after being arrested at Pukekura.
He faced charges of driving dangerously, failing to stop for police, driving while disqualified and disorderly behaviour after numerous South Westland residents reported his erratic driving.
When he first appeared in court on March 1, Coster was remanded on bail without plea but he failed to report on Tuuesday, as ordered.
Lawyer Richard Bodle told Judge John Strettell that he might have frightened off Coster in a phone call that day.
“He may well have seen the writing on the wall,” Mr Bodle said.