New Zealand Idol winner Matthew John Saunoa who once topped the charts has fronted an Australian court in a public fall from grace.
New Zealand Idol winner Matthew John Saunoa who once topped the charts has fronted an Australian court in a public fall from grace.

Idol winner charged over drugs and other offences

AN IDOL competition winner, who topped the charts in 2006, has fronted a ourt in a public fall from grace.

New Zealand Idol winner Matthew John Saunoa, 34, faced Southport District Court from the custodial dock today.

The Surfers Paradise man pleaded guilty to failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance.

Saunoa has also been charged with drug and property crime offences, including unlawful use of a vehicle, possessing drug utensils and three counts of stealing, as well as wilful damage.

But he did not enter a plea to those allegations.

New Zealand Idol winner Matthew John Saunoa in 2006.
New Zealand Idol winner Matthew John Saunoa in 2006.

Prosecutor Joel Sleep said Saunoa was due to appear in the court on November 4 and he was subsequently arrested over an outstanding warrant on November 21.

Defence lawyer Troy Smith said the night Saunoa had spent behind bars would act as a "timely reminder not to miss court dates".

Magistrate Mark Howden fined Saunoa $400.

Mr Smith then applied for bail in relation to the outstanding allegations against Saunoa, who appeared dressed in a light brown T-shirt, denim jeans and sporting a short haircut with frosted tips.

He said there was "issues" surrounding the unlawful use and wilful damage charges which needed to be discussed with the prosecution.

Matthew Saunoa leaves Southport Magistrates Court. Picture: Lea Emery
Matthew Saunoa leaves Southport Magistrates Court. Picture: Lea Emery

Mr Howden granted Saunoa conditional bail, meaning he has to reside at a home in Gilston and regularly report to police.

The outstanding charges were adjourned to December 5.

Saunoa won the 2006 series of New Zealand Idol, the third season of the popular television show.

His song Hold Out topped the New Zealand's singles charts, but Saunoa missed out on an album contract.

It's understood Saunoa has not released any music independently since that time.


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