‘Outrageous’ comments about victim signal jail term

November 7, 2017 | By More

An arrest warrant has been issued for a “forthright character” who didn’t show at up court for a sentencing where he would probably have been jailed for a bus stop bashing.

It is understood the Probation Service was recommending imprisonment for James Ian Norman Bisset after his comments at his pre-sentence interview that Judge John Macdonald described as “outrageous”.

Judge Macdonald appeared by video-link from the Dunedin Court for the sentencing that was set for early Tuesday on a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Everyone was in place and ready to go, except for the 30-year-old drainlayer from Aranui, who had pleaded guilty on September 15.

Defence counsel Andrew McCormick said Bisset had previously been good about staying in touch. “Over the last fortnight, since I have been trying to reach him to prepare for today, I have had no luck at all,” he said. “The telephone rings, but it goes to voice mail and he doesn’t respond to messages or texts.”

Judge Macdonald said it was “quite an extraordinary pre-sentence report”.

Mr McCormick agreed it was “astonishing”.

“I have never read anything like that. I think it’s quite outrageous,” said the judge, apparently referring to Bisset’s comments to probation about the victim he punched and kicked at a bus stop on Pages Road. “I don’t know whether he’s serious or not.”

“I suspect so, Sir,” said Mr McCormick. “He is a forthright character.”

He said sentencing had been delayed earlier because of a complication with Bisset’s employment, which meant he would not be paid till the end of October. “I had hoped to be able to say that I had funds in my trust account for an emotional harm payment for the victim, but that has not happened either.”

Police allege Bisset and another attacker punched and kicked the man while he was on the ground. His jaw was broken in three places and needed surgical placement of titanium plates and screws. He also had bruising and swelling to the head. Bisset told police he punched him because he had threatened his family.

At the request of the Crown, Judge Macdonald issued an arrest warrant for Bisset and said that if he does “resurface” he should be held in custody until the sentencing can take place by video-link.

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