'God' gets 6 months

Last updated 11:37 29/01/2013

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A Blenheim man who claimed to be God and threatened to blow up a Work and Income office in Lower Hutt has been sentenced to six months' community detention.

Jason Adam Beckford, 44, a vineyard worker of Riversdale, was sentenced in the Blenheim District Court yesterday after admitting charges including misusing a phone by threatening to blow up the Work and Income office, assault, intimidating behaviour, possession of cannabis and possession of a cannabis pipe.

Judge Tony Zohrab said each of the charges would usually have earned a sentence of community work and a rehabilitative aspect such as supervision, which his criminal history suggested he needed.

However, Beckford had been trespassed by the Probation Services because of his behaviour towards staff, making community work and supervision impossible.

The misuse of a telephone charge came from an incident on November 1, 2011, when Beckford made 21 abusive phone calls to Work and Income, during which he threatened to blow up the Lower Hutt office giving a series of false names, including God, and on one call told the staff he was going to come and blow the centre up.

Beckford was arrested for the possession of a cannabis pipe on February 1, 2012, and for the assault, intimidating behaviour and possession of cannabis on April 27, 2012, Judge Zohrab said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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