Refugee felt 'possessed by the Devil'

Hero says hijacker 'should have got longer'

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 15:25 20/09/2012
THE PRESS

Marteine Robin spoke to The Press in March after her kidnapping and stabbing ordeal.

Zakariye Mohamed Hussein
COURT: Zakariye Mohamed Hussein appears in court today.
Zakariye Mohammed Hussein
Tom Kerkhofs
ARMED: A picture of Zakariye Mohammed Hussein taken by a bystander from inside his car mid-rampage.
jade lynn std
Iain McGregor
HERO: Jade Lynn outside court today.

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A man who intervened as a knife-wielding hijacker went on a bloody rampage in Christchurch, holding him at bay until police could subdue him, says the man responsible ''should have got longer''.

Somali refugee Zakariye Mohamed Hussein, 27, was today jailed for six and a half years for his actions on March 15, a day he felt "possessed by the Devil", which ended in him being shot by police.

Jade Lynn was dubbed the ''working-class hero'' after he held Hussein at bay with an iron bar at a Hoon Hay intersection until police subdued him.

Lynn, 22, said Hussein ''should have got longer'' and did not deserve credit for his remorse or early guilty plea.

The rampage started at Redwood School, where Hussein had camped overnight in a bush before threatening caretaker Noel Batstone, smashing classroom windows where Batstone had barricaded himself in.

Hussein then kidnapped Marteine Robin, 36, who was delivering pies to the school, at knifepoint.

He jumped into her van and forced her to drive towards Halswell before stabbing her in the shoulder.

When they stopped at lights in Hoon Hay, Hussein got out and repeatedly stabbed a council worker in his car.

Police arrived to find Lynn holding an iron bar up to Hussein, who was still holding a knife.

Pepper spray and a Taser did not stop Hussein, and he was finally shot in the arm.

Outside the Christchurch District Court, Lynn said despite disappointment at the length of Hussein's sentence, he was ''just happy for him to be locked up and dealt to".

''It's up to the judge of the day. At the end of the day, he's locked up. Hopefully he changes,'' he said.

During sentencing, Judge David Saunders acknowledged Lynn's courageous actions.

He hoped Lynn would be publicly commended at a later date.

Lynn said it was ''good to hear that''.

''It's something good I've done. I haven't done anything good like that before. But it's really not for me to get credits; it's for the other two people who were attacked,'' he said.

Lynn said the incident had ''stuffed my life up a wee bit''.

''Hopefully it comes right again and I'll just move on. The future comes now,'' he said.

Batstone said the sentencing had given him closure.

''I feel a lot more relaxed,'' he said.

Batstone said he still felt emotional at times when he thought of the incident, and had suffered ''sleepless nights at times''.

''It was a bit rough at the time, but we're getting there,'' he said. ''I was quite relieved to be there and see the man again.''

Robin was also at the sentencing but did not want to comment.

The council worker did not appear to be present at court.

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In handing down the sentence, Judge Saunders told Hussein: "It is clear that those embroiled in this have suffered not only physical but emotional harm."

Hussein's defence counsel, Allister Davis, apologised to everyone involved, on behalf of Hussein and his family, and particularly to the two people he wounded.

The incident happened when Hussein had been off his medication for a considerable time, he said.

"He is aware of the effects of his behaviour on this day has had on all of the victims. He is filled with remorse. He doesn't know what has caused this. He has explained to clinicians he felt he was possessed by the Devil."

Davis urged the judge to make an order for reparation payments totalling $1073 for a smashed school door and the losses of a man caught up in the incident and wounded.

"Both of these amounts can be paid and will be paid on his behalf by his family," Davis said.

He said Hussein now had no use of the arm where he was shot by the police to end the incident in March. There was no criticism of the police.

"He has accepted that his behaviour on the day warranted exactly what happened."

He was horrified by the physical and emotional damage he had inflicted on people, but he was usually quietly spoken, shy, reserved, polite and did not want to get into any difficulties, Davis said.

Hussein, who remained silent throughout the sentencing, had admitted charges of unlawful possession of a weapon, a knife at Redwood  School and in Hoon Hay Rd, kidnapping a council worker and a woman, wounding the council worker with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and injuring the woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He also admitted charges of smashing a glass door at the school and threatening a man with intent to frighten him.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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