Gang man can no longer live outside prison

June 22, 2016 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-07A heavily facially tattooed man with gang links has spent so many years in prison he does not know how to live on the outside, the Christchurch District Court was told as he was jailed again.

Charles Shane Newton, 46, was jailed for three years two months for repeated assaults on his partner.

Associating with the woman was in breach of his prison parole conditions, but Judge Brian Callaghan said she was happy to have him living with her at the start, before the violence began.

“No-one should have to live with the continual threat, as she did,” said the judge.

During his trial, Newton pleaded guilty to reduced charges. He admitted two charges of assault with intent to injure, assault on a woman, and unlawful possession of a firearm, a .22 rifle. He had previously admitted the breach of the release condition.

The victim was at court but declined to read her victim impact statement. Judge Callaghan said she was brave to give her evidence at Newton’s trial.

During the relationship, Newton:

  • Twice bashed her with children present, including knocking her unconscious.
  • Pulled out some of her hair.
  • Threatened to have his gang deal with her if she called the police.
  • Repeatedly made the woman bring the rifle inside, or return it outside, a practice the judge described as “an implicit threat”.
  • Assaulted her because she had been drinking, or because the food in the fridge was not arranged properly.

Defence counsel Paul Hembrow said he had been approached by the mother of two of Newton’s other children who said that he did need counselling. He survived very well in prison, and did not seem to face internal disciplinary charges, but he no longer knew how to live on the outside.

Outside prison, he was a recluse but a good father to his children.

Mr Hembrow said that this year, for the first time, Newton had acknowedged that he needed help and had taken a Stopping Violence course in prison.

Judge Callaghan said Newton had a difficult upbringing and associations with a gang, but his remorse seemed to be genuine.

He believed Newton may have been moved by the attitude of the victim, who had spoken mercifully about him when she gave her evidence.

He reduced the sentence because of Newton’s guilty pleas, his remorse, and the rehabilitation steps he had already taken, and jailed him for three years two months. Newton had obviously not got the message from previous sentences imposed, because he had continued to be violent, he said.

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