Home detention likely for threat to policeman

Police-badge-2013-09-001Intervention was clearly needed for an Amberley man with an anger problem, a judge said as the 20-year-old faced sentencing for threats to a policeman and his family.

The Christchurch District Court sentencing could not go ahead because Judge Raoul Neave wants to consider a term of home detention for Reece James Dick-Durham and no suitable address has been available.

Judge Neave said he was not attracted to the suggestion of a sentence of community work and intensive supervision on charges of assault with a blunt instrument – a chair – threatening the police officer, and possession of cannabis.

He remanded Dick-Durham on bail for sentencing and assessment of a home detention address – if one can be found – on January 17.

Dick-Durham suffered serious injuries in a crash in May 2010 when a front-seat passenger, Worthy Redeemed, grabbed the steering wheel of the car so that it veered into the path of a bus.

Since then, courts have been told that he has post traumatic stress disorder and anger issues arising from the crash.

But Judge Neave said today that there were indications of anger issues that pre-dated the crash.

Defence counsel Margaret Sewell said the crash had “aggravated a pre-existing problem”.

Judge Neave said: “He clearly needs intervention. He’s going to have to pull his head in and deal with it whether he likes it or not.”

Dick-Durham whacked a man over the head with a chair in the Amberley library, and told the police he was sick of the comments the man had put on Facebook. He wanted him out of the rural North Canterbury town.

He also threatened the murder an Amberley policeman, saying that he would throw a Molotov cocktail into the house where he lived with his wife and children.

Since then, the community constable had helped him to get a job and “to get on top of his issues”, Mrs Sewell told the court.

She urged Judge Neave to consider a sentence that would let Dick-Durham continue in the community and get help for his bad anger problem.

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