Serial protester Benjamin Easton faces jail time
Serial protester Benjamin Easton has been warned he could face jail, after failing to complete community work for bashing a Wellington street with a sledgehammer.
Easton appeared in the Wellington District Court today, after finishing just five of 80 hours community work for disorderly behaviour and endangering public safety.
The charges arose from an incident in June 2010, when Easton took to the road at the intersection of Victoria and Manners streets with a sledgehammer, while protesting plans to put bus lanes through Manners Mall.
He was nearly tasered, and eventually overpowered by police before a large crowd of onlookers.
Yesterday Judge Peter Butler told Easton a pre-sentencing report had recommended sending him to prison, and asked for his thoughts.
Easton replied that a jail sentence would not be "in the public interest."
He had lodged a fresh appeal against the convictions with the Court of Appeal, he said.
Judge Butler said jailing Easton would be premature, considering the new appeal.
He was remanded at large for six weeks.
The Wellington City Council has spent around $350,000 defending itself against Mr Easton's court proceedings over the bus lanes and other matters.
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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