Community sentences hinder rebuild - judge

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 11:48 21/02/2013

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A judge has called for an innovative approach to offenders working on the Christchurch rebuild.

Judge Gary MacAskill said rebuild workers were having to take time off work to serve their community work sentences, which was "costing the community".

MacAskill voiced his views at a Christchurch District Court session this morning as he sentenced a man for a community work breach.

The judge said he would prefer to see workers continue with the rebuild on days when they should be doing community work, but make some payment to the taxpayer instead.

"It would take a law change for what I have in mind," he said.

He was dealing with the case of a worker coming to Christchurch and taking up a job on the rebuild, but finding that he fell behind with a community work sentence because of the long hours and job requirements.

Community Probation then charged him with breaching his sentence and he pleaded guilty today.

MacAskill imposed an extra 40 hours of community work, the minimum term for that type of sentence.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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