Arrest was a question of survival

December 2, 2014 | By More

Bottles-01A chronic alcohol offender says he got himself arrested because if was the only way he could see to stay alive.

Daniel Andrew McNally, 41, has admitted he has had an alcohol problem for most of his life, and now he will have a chance to go through rehabilitation during a 38-month prison sentence.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders jailed him on charges of assault, three of driving with excess breath-alcohol – the aggravated form because he has already been convicted of the same charge eight times – two of driving while suspended, and four of shoplifting.

McNally told the judge he had “had enough” and was worried about his negative thinking.

Defence counsel Craig Fletcher described McNally’s descent into despair with his latest round of offending that finally saw him held in custody pending sentencing.

“He was in such a state that the only way that he could literally stay alive and get on with his life was to be arrested,” said Mr Fletcher. He hoped that McNally could eventually be released from prison directly into a residential rehabilitation programme.

McNally gained notoriety in 2005 when he punched Christian morals campaigner Graham Capill outside the Court House after Capill had admitted child sex abuse charges.

Judge Saunders said alcohol treatment was now “absolutely paramount” for McNally.

After being released on bail on repeated drink-driving charges, McNally went to a shopping centre and stole items from four shops before taking a swing at the security officer. The blow was blocked.

He imposed prison terms totalling 38 months, and recommended that McNally be looked at for psychological counselling and an alcohol treatment programme. He also disqualified him from driving indefinitely.


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