Teen told to keep a diary

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 11:53 06/06/2014
Benjamin Thomas Tapper-Norris
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'LIVING IN A FANTASY WORLD': Benjamin Thomas Tapper-Norris, 19, hasn't been reporting to probation as required for a sentence of intensive supervision.

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A teenager has been given a special order by a judge to keep a diary for the next three weeks.

"I want to get a feeling for what it is you are doing with your time," Christchurch District Court Judge Jane McMeeken told Benjamin Thomas Tapper-Norris, 19.

He was expelled from school because he had spent too much time in custody.

He said he had been trying for part-time work gardening, but the weather had been miserable.

He had not been reporting to the Probation Service as required for a sentence of intensive supervision that was imposed by the judge on March 19.

Tapper-Norris went to the Probation Service the week after the sentencing and said he was pressed for time and on his way to school.

He was given another appointment for two days later but did not turn up until yesterday, when he was interviewed for a report for the judge before today's three-monthly judicial monitoring session.

The judge today reminded him what she had told him on March 19, when he faced sentencing on burglary and theft charges, breaches of bail and cancellation of a community work sentence where he attended for only half an hour out of 150 hours.

"I don't know why you are not taking care of business," she said.

"You seem to live in some fantasy world."

It was no good making plans or seeking work when he was not dealing with the criminal matters and sentences that were hanging over him.

Tapper-Norris is now denying a charge of breaching his intensive-supervision sentence by not reporting to his supervising probation officer, who should see him this afternoon for the first time.

Defence counsel Claire Heslop said the Probation Service considered that it could still work with Tapper-Norris, and he now had an address in Phillipstown with his partner.

"This is the most stable lifestyle he has had in a long time," she said.

The judge arranged to see Tapper-Norris again on June 25, and by then she wants a judicial monitoring report from the Probation Service and a daily diary by the teenager.

She told him: "I want you to bring a brief diary of what you are doing.

"Keep a diary - not every minute - but I want to get a feeling for what it is you are doing with your time."

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