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This week’s sentencings at Masterton District Court

Proceedings this week saw several people sentenced for crimes relating to burglary, drugs, and assault.


Facing one charge of burglary for breaking into the victim’s property and stealing $1600 worth of supplies from a garage, Nicolas Henderson was sentenced to intensive supervision.

Defence counsel Andra Mobberley said that the offending was a result of his “long-standing background in ADHD”.

“His mother refers to him as the most impulsive person she’s met, but that he also has a great deal of consciousness,” Mobberley said.

“Unfortunately, the impulse kicked in, and he offended; then as the ADHD relaxed, he realised what he’d done and had a great deal of remorse, but it was too late.

“He’s not a person who’s vindictive, he just doesn’t think before acting.”

She noted the difficulty in accessing assessment and treatment for ADHD and Henderson’s tendency to self-medicate through non-prescription drugs.

Noting the facts, Judge Nicola Wills said Henderson entered a property in Masterton and walked around before entering the garage.

She said he took a lawn mower and other equipment worth a total of $1600, and caused the victim to feel great distress.

“I’ve also read the letter you’ve provided, accepting responsibility for the distress and fear caused to the victim,” Wills said.

“I was impressed with the thoughtful way you worked through how what you did impacted other people and have taken steps to get to the right place.”

She sentenced Henderson to 18 months of intensive supervision, subject to attending counselling recommended by the probation officer.

He was also ordered to make weekly payments towards the $1600 reparations sought by the victim.

Injuring with intent

James O’Donnell was sentenced for two charges relating to injuring with intent and given a supervision sentence, in light of his work dealing with anger management issues.

Defence counsel Andra Mobberley said he had already spent about three months in pre-sentence detention, and had undertaken anger management and drug and alcohol counselling.

She recommended a supervision sentence.

Noting the facts, Judge Nicola Wills said that O’Donnell “became enraged at the victim for spending too much money”.

“They were shameful attacks in front of family,” Wills said.

“This cast a huge pall on your whanau’s Christmas and New Year.”

O’Donnell, who has previous convictions for assault, struck the victim repeatedly on two separate occasions.

In a letter since written to the victim, Wills said the defendant had been open and clear about his responsibility for the offending.

“You’re not making excuses, and you wish to travel a different path.”

She also noted that “this was a very late guilty plea on the eve of a judge-alone trial”.

Taking his engagement in anger management counselling into account, Wills sentenced O’Donnell to one year of supervision, including attendance of several counselling programmes.

There was already a protection order in place for the victim.

Drug and assault charges

A man facing several charges relating to drugs and assault was given a supervision sentence, allowing future attendance of violence and drug and alcohol programmes.

Kevahn Arnold appeared in court on charges of procuring and/or possessing methamphetamine, possessing cannabis for supply, and assault on a person in a family relationship.

Defence counsel Andra Mobberley said he had made an early guilty plea, and she recommended supervision.

Judge Nicola Wills said that after being asked to leave by a partner, Arnold grabbed her throat, and she called police after breaking loose.

Regarding the drug-related charges, Wills said police found 46 grams of cannabis in ziplock bags in the defendant’s car and 1.18g of meth in a trouser pocket.

She sentenced Arnold to nine months of supervision for all charges, with conditions of attending family violence and drug and alcohol programmes.

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