Tyre slashing victims to get payments from offender

January 29, 2014 | By More

Car-front-blueThe 17 victims of a tyre slasher outside Christchurch Hospital – who were mostly nurses finishing night shifts – will be paid for the damage and will each get a $50 payment for the bother he caused.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane McMeeken ordered the $50 payments as emotional harm reparations, on top of the total damage bill of $3113.99 after Houlyo Steven Regan pleaded guilty today.

He admitted unlawful possession of a knife and 17 charges of intentional damage.

The judge imposed 12 months of supervision when 30-year-old Regan will have to undergo assessment and counselling for alcohol issues, and do any courses that his probation officer orders.

Regan has accepted the bill for the damage and will pay the money to his victims at $40 a week, from his wages from a furniture removal company where he has worked for the last eight months.

Regan came out of prison in 2012 after serving a sentence for aggravated robbery.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Steve Midgley said Regan had been on Hagley Avenue about 4am on January 15, when he used a folding knife with a 10cm blade to puncture the 18 tyres on 17 cars.  The victim impact reports showed the vehicles mainly belonged to nurses who finished night shifts to find their tyres damaged.

Defence counsel Ros Burnside said Regan had got drunk after having an argument. “He resorted to drinking a very large amount of alcohol and he simply got out of control,” she said.

Regan had done very well since his release from prison. He had now held down regular employment for eight months, and was in stable accommodation with his aunt. His employer and aunt supplied references for the court.

Regan accepted he needed help with his alcohol problem and would engage in any treatment for alcohol and anger management issues required under a supervision sentence.

Probation told the court he had finished his parole last year. He had a full-time job and a “pro-social” partner, and arrangements had been made for continuing community support.

Judge McMeeken acknowledged the difficulties of reintegrating into the community after doing such a long jail term as a young man. His employer said he was reliable, worked hard and had a good attitude. The employer knew of his issues in the past.

But she said many of his victims had been nurses who had been doing valuable, difficult, and stressful work and had finished night shift to find that “some drunk has caused such damage”.

One car belonged to an elderly woman who had travelled from the West Coast to visit her sick husband in hospital.

“The last thing they needed to be confronted with, was what you had done,” said the judge.

Category: Focus

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