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Supervision for man who made threat

A man who threatened to “slice” a male victim’s face with a battery-powered grinder was sentenced to community detention and supervision at Masterton District Court last week.

Christopher Rendle pleaded guilty to three charges of driving while disqualified, burglary, and possession of an offensive weapon following an incident in the early hours of January 22 this year.

The interrelated incidents occurred after the defendant “formed some sort of obsession” with the female victim and “got it into [his] head she should be in a relationship” with him.

Judge Noel Sainsbury told the court how Rendle drove to the victim’s address at about 3.30am and climbed in through the window to her bedroom, waking one of the victims up when he knocked items off the windowsill.

Standing at the end of the victims’ bed, Rendle turned the portable battery-powered electric grinder he’d brought with him “on and off, making a loud noise, and screaming at the two people in the bed that you are going to slice the male’s face using the grinder”.

Refusing to leave, “one of the victims tried to physically push” Rendle back out of the window.

“Eventually, you climb back out of the window still making threats to kill one of the victims,” Judge Sainsbury said.

Referring to the victim impact statements provided to the court, the judge said the victims felt a “mixture of emotions” as a result of the incident, including outrage, apprehension, and fear.

Rendle’s counsel, Janine Bonifant, told the court her defendant’s intention had been “only to frighten” and not to cause “physical harm”.

“As a result, there was no physical harm, but certainly Mr Rendle accepts that the situation would have been very distressing for both of the victims.”

Bonifant explained that Rendle, who had been in custody since the incident, was released on bail to attend AA meetings and had remained sober since his arrest.

“He is incredibly remorseful,” she said.

Providing further “context of the fear and trauma of the event”, police prosecutor Sergeant Daniel Scott told the court the defendant had sent the female victim two texts shortly before the incident, including one that said he was “going to kill” the male victim.

Determining the sentence, Judge Sainsbury said the fact Rendle was intoxicated at the time of the offence – which had “aspects of a home invasion” – was “no excuse”.

Had he not been persuaded to leave the victim’s house, “the only issue would be how much time you spent in prison”.

Giving Rendle credit for his guilty plea and “doing something about [his] alcohol issue”, Judge Sainsbury sentenced him to four months community detention and 12 months supervision for the burglary charge, 12 months supervision and a concurrent sentence of three months community detention for the possession of an offensive weapon, and two months community detention and 12 months supervision for driving while disqualified.

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