White tie, fresh start for bandit Good behaviour bond for youth

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 09:40 21/02/2014

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A squeegee bandit in court on assault charges against a driver and a policeman has won praise from a judge for turning his life around.

Jayden Pescini, 17, appeared in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday, impressing Judge Allan Roberts with his smart appearance complete with a white silk tie.

"I thought you were an impersonator," an admiring Judge Roberts said to him.

Pescini pleaded guilty to assaulting a driver, who he believed had verbally abused another bandit, as well as police officer Constable Kane Moses who was called to attend the incident at the intersection of Eliot and Leach streets at 5.40pm on January 16.

Pescini had got into the driver's car and punched the driver in his left eye, splitting his eyebrow and leaving him with a black eye, the police summary states.

Pescini had to be pepper-sprayed before being handcuffed with the help of nearby members of the public.

He also admitted breaching an earlier community work sentence.

Pescini's lawyer Kylie Pascoe said her client, who now took great pride in his appearance, had made remarkable changes in his life.

He had now put his window-washing career behind him, Ms Pascoe said.

He was on a work trial where his employers described him as very helpful, with a can-do attitude and eager to learn.

Pescini had also apologised in person to the officer who wanted the court to know how impressed he was by Pescini "despite being hit on the head", Ms Pascoe said.

The officer described Pescini as "a good kid who needs help to get his life on track".

Pescini was also receiving help for his alcohol and drug issues.

"If you give him that chance you won't see him back," Ms Pascoe said, asking for a good behaviour bond.

Judge Roberts described the changes as a dramatic turnaround.

He handed down a good behaviour bond with an order that Pescini come up if called on in the next 12 months if he assaulted anyone during that time.

The judge advised Pescini to complete his outstanding community work hours and to thank Mr Moses for his positive comments which were all to Pescini's advantage.

A group of about six people were in court to support Pescini.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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