Prison seeks intervention order for hunger striker

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 16:52 24/06/2014
All Means All
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ
DETERIORATING HEALTH: All Means All says he should be allowed to continue with his hunger strike, even if it means his death.

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Authorities are seeking the right to intervene after an Oxford farmer jailed for threatening the prime minister has refused "the corrupt government's food" in a four-week prison hunger strike.

A judge will rule on whether the prison authorities can intervene to stop All Means All's deteriorating health.

Justice Graham Panckhurst will give his decision in the High Court at Christchurch at 10am tomorrow, after a day-and-a-half of legal submissions and argument.

All, 57, was jailed on May 28 for four months after being convicted of repeatedly threatening to kill Prime Minister John Key in a series of letters. It was the second time All had been found guilty of similar charges after District Court trials.

He had repeatedly said he would refuse to eat "the corrupt government's food" or drink its drink if he were jailed.

At his latest sentencing, Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish told him: "From the outset you have told the court and the jury that you will refuse food and water. You wish to make a martyr of yourself and take a stand. That is entirely your choice.

"You are responsible for your own actions and your own choices. I imagine that the hospital authorities and the psychiatric authorities may have some intervention at that time."

All, a farmer near Oxford, was previously known as Mark Feary but legally changed his name during his series of court battles. He has a long-standing dispute with successive governments arising from an issue with the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

When he was convicted after the first trial in 2010, he was fined $20,000 rather than sent to jail, but Judge Farish noted that none of that amount had been paid.

At his sentencing in May, All thanked the judge when he was sentenced to prison and taken to the cells at the Christchurch Court House.

He has now been in prison near Christchurch for four weeks, and the Department of Corrections has sought an order under a legal principle called "parens patriae," which translates as "parent for the nation".

It is a principle that gives power and authority of the state to protect persons who are legally unable to act on their own behalf.

All, who represented himself at both his trials, has been arguing that there should be no intervention, and that he should be allowed to continue with his hunger strike even if it means his death.

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He would normally serve two months of a four month sentence, which means he still has about a month to serve.

All Means All sent his letters in July 2012 to news media, the Prime Minister's office, and parliamentary officials, with a message for the Prime Minister saying, "All's going to kill you."

- The Press

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