A 33-year-old Aranui man had been up all night taking methamphetamine before making threats and firing a shot outside the Linwood Work and Income offices.
Mitchell Shane Moulton was today jailed for two years eight months for the armed incident in Aldwins Road early on October 6.
Since his arrest he has met the WINZ staff he threatened and the regional manager at a successful restorative justice conference where he made his apologies.
Defence counsel Donald Matthews said the staff had been “forthright” in telling Moulton about the effects of his offending and he now understood the impact on his victims.
Moulton had described the meeting as “the hardest thing he has ever done,” Mr Matthews told Christchurch District Court Judge Paul Kellar.
Moulton had admitted charges of threatening to kill, unlawful possessing of a firearm, reckless firing of the weapon, driving while suspended, and possession of cannabis.
Judge Kellar said the restorative justice meeting had been very successful. “It shows just how important these conferences can be.”
Moulton had been using methamphetamine and illicit drugs for about five months, since coming to Christchurch from the West Coast.
He had been up all night taking methamphetamine before he went to the WINZ office – seeking help, he said – about 8.40am.
He was in an agitated state and argued with the security officer outside who asked him for identification and then locked the doors to stop him entering. The officer told Moulton the leave.
Moulton made a threat to “blow up” the officer and other WINZ staff, and took a loaded sawn-off .22 rifle out of his trousers and fired it into the air.
He continued yelling aggressively as he ran to the car park and drove a short distance to Bass Street. He ran off when police approached but he was quickly caught. The firearm was found in the tyre well and he was found with 4g of cannabis.
The offending was premeditated because Moulton had taken a loaded firearm to a WINZ officer before making threats and firing it, Judge Kellar said.
“WINZ understandably have heightened security surrounding these sorts of issues,” said the judge, jailing Moulton for two years eight months and disqualifying him from driving for six months.