Violent offender facing four protection orders, and prison

Court House-Sept-2013-05Four women now have protection orders out against Robert James McAllister who has begun a jail term for assaulting two of them.

The 32-year-old has 59 previous convictions, mainly for violence, dishonesty, and drug use. Eleven of the convictions involve breaches of various court orders and sentences.

Judge Alistair Garland ruled out home detention at his latest Christchurch District Court sentencing, and jailed him for two years on charges of assault with intent to injure, assaulting a woman, breach of a protection order, and breach of intensive supervision.

The two latest victims read their views to the court. One was devastated, Justice Alistair Garland noted, but the other had found it in her heart to forgive him and wanted him to get the help he needs.

Judge Garland agreed that he needed that help and ordered six months of special conditions after his release from prison, when he will have to undertake treatment and counselling as directed.

The court was told that McAllister arrived at one of the women’s homes on February 24 and began yelling and abusing her for not telling him one of his ex-partners had moved back to Christchurch.

He grabbed her and pushed her, and when she fell he stood over her and said he would “smash” her if she moved.

When she tried to escape he chased her and grabbed her from behind with his arms across her upper body and mouth. She struggled for breath. He punched her in the side of the head, knocking her down.

McAllister said he had nothing to lose and was going to kill himself. He knocked her down again with a punch to the temple and the woman said it felt like he then stomped on her back.

By the time she had calmed him down and left the address, the assault had gone on for more than an hour. The woman was left bruised and swollen, and had a torn ligament from a twisted knee.

The next assault happened with another victim on March 15, at the house where McAllister was boarding. He became increasingly paranoid and accused her of spying for the police. He put her in a headlock and punched her in the head several times. When she screamed he placed a hand over her mouth.

Judge Garland told the man: “It is clear that your inability to manage your negative thoughts and feelings relating to relationships, combined with your use of methamphetamine have again culminated in serious assaults on two different women in a short period of time.”

The probation report recommended a jail term, including a drug treatment programme and sessions with a psychiatrist.

The second victim thought that a residential rehabilitation programme would be better than imprisonment, and defence counsel Craig Fletcher urged that home detention be imposed.

Judge Garland told McAllister: “You acknowledge the impact that drugs have had on your behaviour. You have apologised to each of the victims. You want to address your drug and psychological issues.”

But the judge said the reality was that there were inadequate residential rehabilitation facilities to deal with people who had obvious drug issues.


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