Teen acting up after seeing friend die

Train-signA teenager who saw his best friend killed by a train before Christmas has been acting up and has ended up in custody for several days.

Brandon Douglas Adams, 18, was finally released from custody today when he pleaded guilty to two charges and was immediately sentenced at the Christchurch District Court.

Defence counsel Paul Johnson said the offending occurred after the death of his best friend. A 16-year-old, Jayden John Smith, was hit and killed by a north-bound freight train near Belfast in December. The youth was walking with his girlfriend and another young person at the time, police reported.

 Mr Johnson told Judge Alistair Garland: “He made eye contact with the victim as he went under the train. He has flipped.”

Adams was already on a sentence of intensive supervision and under judicial monitoring at the time. The monitoring means a judge is receiving regular reports on his progress.

He has two previous convictions for wilful damage and five for assaults or making threats.

He has now pleaded guilty to charges of intentional damage and assault, which occurred on January 3 and 8.

Police prosecutor Stephen Burdes said Adams went into his mother’s bedroom and began throwing things around and slamming a door into a dresser when she refused to take him to a pawn shop. Later, when she refused to take him to get alcohol he picked up a tomato stake and began destroying plants in her garden.

On January 8, he saw his pregnant ex-partner in the street and pushed her, causing her to stumble.

Mr Burdes said some of Adams’ previous assaults and threats had involved family members.

Judge Garland said his appearance in court last week had “amply demonstrated that you tend to lose your cool when confronted with circumstances that you don’t agree with – you do damage to property and persons”.

He had been refused bail even though his mother had been in court supporting him.

The judge said he had been told by probation that Adams would be seen shortly by a departmental psychologist as part of his existing sentence. “I am pleased about that because I think you need intervention at this time and not later.”

He imposed a sentence to deter Adams from further offending, ordering him to do a total of 130 hours of community work. Some of the hours can be converted to training.

He is already scheduled for an anger management course.

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