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Prison warning for acid-attack shopkeeper

MIKE WATSON
Last updated 05:00 14/09/2012
  	 Richard Powell
TRACEY ROBINSON/Fairfax NZ
WARNED: Richard Powell, 46, owner of BJammin Surfwear, in the Taupo District Court.

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A Taupo shopkeeper who squirted battery acid through a rival's shop doors has pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of his community detention.

Richard Lan Powell, 46, owner of BJammin Surfwear, ruined about $40,000 worth of clothing and shop fittings at Kelvin Clark's Addiction Surf and Skate in the acid attack.

He was sentenced to six months' community detention on August 14, and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring anklet. He was subject to a house curfew between 7pm and 5am, and ordered to do 200 hours' community work.

But only three days after his sentencing, on August 17, the anklet sent out a tamper alert to the monitoring company.

A security guard went to Powell's Taupo home and tried to reattach the anklet while correcting a "ranging issue", court documents show.

On August 19 a security guard again visited his home and tried to correct the anklet but Powell "refused to allow the guard to re-strap his anklet".

The guard became concerned for her safety given Powell's behaviour. Monitoring was suspended to his anklet due to ongoing safety concerns.

Powell appeared in Taupo District Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of failing, without reasonable excuse, to comply with conditions of community detention.

He was given a six-month deferred sentence, and warned by Judge Chris McGuire that if he failed to comply with any of the conditions within the next six months, he would go to prison.

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- The Dominion Post

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