Community work records challenged over suppression sentence

March 13, 2015 | By More


Court House-07A man who admitted breaching suppression orders in the Jesse Ryder assault case has failed in a challenge to the Corrections Department records of his attendance at his community work sentence.

Jordan Francis Louis Mason, 30, represented himself at the hearing in the Christchurch District Court today after denying a charge of breaching community work. He was convicted at the end of the hearing.

The Corrections Department called seven witnesses to show that he had done only 49.5 hours of the 140-hour sentence he received.

Mason claims he attended community work at the Annex Road work centre on 17 days that were not recorded in the Corrections Department system, a computer programme called the Integrated Offender Management System.

Judge David Saunders was told that Mason had refused to accept disclosure – the documents relating to the prosecution – ahead of the trial.

The trial was told that the department had sent four warning letters and had tried to “engage” with Mason about the prosecution. He had provided them with a handwritten list of 17 dates when he claimed he had attended.

Corrections staff gave evidence of how he did not appear in their records for those dates, though people normally signed in and out for community work and there were roll calls and a head count as each group left in the van to carry out the day’s work.

Community work supervisors told of Mason not attending community work on specific dates in early 2014, and not contacting the Annex Road centre with any explanation. Another supervisor told of him not attending on four dates in 2013 and warning letters being sent. Mason denied receiving the letters, saying he had changed addresses.

Mason gave evidence that he had told Corrections of his address change. He said he had sometimes not signed out after going to community work. He had not attended in early 2014 because he believed he had already completed his sentence. He also said Corrections had credited him with attending on three dates when he had not attended.

Judge Saunders said Mason had accepted that he had never been told he had completed the sentence. He said there had been careful record keeping by Corrections, and Mason had written his own list of dates after receiving a summons for the breach. “I don’t accept his record is correct,” said the judge.

He convicted Mason and remanded him for a pre-sentence report to cover his suitability for a home or community detention sentence on April 29. He was granted bail.

Mason recorded video of two men charged over the Jesse Ryder assault in 2013 as they left the court and posted it on the Internet in breach of a suppression order. It was later taken down and Mason was prosecuted for the breach. He pleaded guilty.


Category: Focus

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