Judge orders counselling to break pattern of offending

Last updated 11:12 20/11/2012

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A Blenheim man has been ordered to undergo counselling to try to break his pattern of offending.

Judge John Walker yesterday ordered Tui Simon Kara, 33, a labourer, of Redwoodtown, to complete the counselling as part of a 12-month supervision sentence for robbing the Redwoodtown Countdown on September 6.

Judge Walker also sentenced Kara to four months' community detention when he appeared in Blenheim District Court, and ordered him to pay 485 reparation for smashing a window and stealing a cellphone from the store.

Kara had admitted a charge of theft.

Judge Walker said Kara had 13 previous convictions for burglary. At his last sentencing in 2010 he was sentenced to intensive supervision and the judge ordered he be assessed for counselling "to help break the cycle of offending".

However, Kara did not get the help the judge intended as the assessment was completed too late in his sentence for the recommendations to be carried out, Judge Walker said. Instead he was imposing the report recommendations on this sentence to try to achieve what the previous judge intended.

A pre-sentence report showed Kara was focused on family and work, which was positive, he said.

Defence lawyer John Holdaway said Kara had just lost his job and was at a low point when he carried out the robbery. His court history showed a decreasing pattern of offending and he was remorseful for actions, he said.

Also appearing in Blenheim District Court yesterday:

Carl John Wall, 37, unemployed of Witherlea, admitted an assault after punching a man three times in the face on November 15 after going to get his cellphone from the other man. He was sentenced to 60 hours' community work.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Lucas said it was not clear what injuries the victim suffered from the punches as he was mauled by a dog shortly afterwards and declined to give a victim impact statement to police about the attack.

Wall had told police he had snapped.

Defence lawyer Philip Watson said the victim was also being abusive before the incident, but Judge Walker said that was no excuse for the violence.

Kyle Francis Morrison, 20, of Riversdale, denied charges of pointing a firearm at a man, assaulting him using a rifle butt, unlawful possession of the firearm and burglary. He admitted a charge of driving without a licence and driving a car without a warrant of fitness and was remanded to December 3.

Brad Francis Hutcheson, 34, a labourer of Ashburton, admitted a charge of injuring with reckless disregard for the safety of his victim and was remanded for sentencing on January 28 to allow a pre-sentence report to be completed.

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Leon Christopher McGuire, 49, of Tokoroa, admitted two charges of assault and was sentenced to 60 hours' community work.

Mr Lucas said McGuire and the two victims were staying at the same backpackers and had all been drinking when McGuire got into an argument with one of the men.

McGuire approached him and the pair were arguing when the second victim stepped between them to calm the situation. McGuire pushed the man, who has a prosthetic leg below the knee, and he fell and landed on his elbow, causing swelling, Mr Lucas said.

McGuire then struck the man he had been arguing with three times in the face with an open palm, he said.

Mr Watson said McGuire pushed the other man because he was "up in his face" and the men had been abusive.

However, Judge Walker told McGuire he might have acted differently if he had not been drinking and he needed to reflect on why he ended up in court.

Shaia Joseph King, 20, a labourer living in Blenheim, admitted charges of stealing a jacket and identification worth $200 and breaching the liquor ban, both on Sunday. He was remanded to reappear on December 3 to allow him time to apply for legal aid on other charges laid in Christchurch.

His 20-year-old partner also appeared in relation to the theft and was remanded for diversion to be considered.

Jed Lockyer, 37, of Picton, was sentenced to nine months' supervision for alcohol and drug counselling and ordered to pay $500 reparation after admitting two charges of wilful damage.

Judge Walker said Lockyer was drunk and went to a friend's home on September 23. A woman left as soon as Lockyer arrived, but heard the noise as he smashed a window and threw a chest of drawers across a room.

As well as being drunk, Lockyer was on the methadone programme and was suffering from a brain injury, Judge Walker said.

However, since the incident Lockyer had started attending alcohol counselling and he urged Lockyer to keep that, helped by the supervision sentence.

"One thing you can control is your drinking. You're not making it easier for yourself or anyone around you."

Wayne Stewart Cowles, 40, a vineyard worker of Blenheim, admitted a charge of receiving a stolen bike, which he then sold on Trade Me. He was remanded for sentence on January 28 to allow time to repay the person he sold the bike to.

Mr Lucas said Cowles was working at a backpackers in Wellington when another staff member took a resident's bicycle from a storage room and gave it to Cowles to pay a debt.

Cowles sold the bike on Trade Me for $1210.00, Mr Lucas said.

The bike was recovered, but the person who bought it on Trade Me had not been paid back. When questioned by police, Cowles said he thought the man who gave him the bike was trustworthy.

Defence lawyer Kent Arnott said Cowles accepted he did not ask the questions he should have.

Marcus Mecoi Teio, 20, a vineyard worker of Blenheim, admitted charges of disorderly behaviour and wilful damage after smashing a letterbox at his girlfriend's house, and shouting abuse when she would not let him in at 1.40am on Friday. He was sentenced to 40 hours' community work.

Ringii Horomone Rene, 24, of Witherlea, admitted a charge of disorderly behaviour and was fined $300.

Mr Lucas said Rene was arrested after getting into an argument with a bouncer outside The Loft bar in Blenheim about 1.50am on Sunday. Rene was drunk and abusive and stopping people getting in and out of the bar.

There were about 40 people outside the bar when the argument took place and "there was a risk mass disorder was going to break out", he said.

Police patrolling the area arrested Rene when he refused to leave the area.

Mr Watson said Rene denied being drunk or abusive.

Jeff Tavita, 35, of Auckland, admitted a charge of offensive use of a telephone and breaching his bail and denied two charges of assaulting a female. He was remanded to reappear on December 13.

Tony Markham Murray, 49, a driver of Christchurch, admitted three charges of making a false statement in a log book, one charge of working for more than 13 hours in a day and one charge of working for 10 hours without a rest.

He was fined $1000 and disqualified from driving for three months.

Mr Arnott said Murray claimed he was under pressure to record his hours as he did. He had lost his job after the charges, he said.

However, Judge Walker said Murray had no excuse and he had a long history of log book offences going back to 1992, including offences last year.

- The Marlborough Express

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