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Knife-wielding man sentenced to nine months

A 34-year-old man who pleaded guilty to five charges, including threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm, was sentenced to nine months in prison at Masterton District Court last week.

Sheldon Guckert was arrested late last year after threatening a man who was being assaulted by a group of associates.

The court heard how, in December last year, a group held a male victim in a headlock and proceeded to punch him while Guckert waved a knife in a threatening manner, telling the victim to keep quiet.

The victim managed to escape but was chased by the group, including the defendant.

“[The victim] thought he was going to lose his life,” Judge Barbara Morris said.

In addition to being charged with threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm, obstructing or preventing or defeating the course of justice, and common assault, Guckert was also charged with receiving property with a value over $1000 after stealing a Holden Commodore worth $8000, which was also found to have a knife inside.

Guckert’s defence counsel, Fionnuala Kelly, told the court her client had already served 170 days in prison, during which he had engaged in alcohol and drug counselling and “launched into sobriety”.

“He has expressed clear remorse,” Kelly said.

Noting the severity of the crimes, Judge Morris told Guckert that, at the age of 34, “If you want to turn your life around, now is the time to leave this all behind you.

“You did plead guilty, and there was remorse; this is out of character for you.”

Taking his early guilty plea into account, Judge Morris gave Guckert a sentence of nine and a half months, which is “effectively time served”.

“I hope this is the last time I see you,” she said to the defendant.

To which Guckert responded, “I hope so too.”

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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