Family tensions lead to jail term

Court House-general 3On the eighth attempt at sentencing – a process where family dynamics usually got in the way – a six-month jail term was today imposed on a man convicted of receiving a stolen vehicle worth $40,000 at a car-wrecking business in Yaldhurst.

Dean Walter Louis, 28, was upset when his bid for a home detention sentence was turned down and he was jailed at the Christchurch District Court sentencing by Judge Jane Farish.

He had been asking for a home detention sentence sharing an address with a man who was coincidentally called in the same court just before the sentencing. The man facing charges of assault and breaches of a protection orders did not appear and the judge ordered an arrest warrant.

Judge Farish then told Louis that the situation ruled out the address as being suitable for home detention.

Louis and his 60-year-old father, Mark Anthony Louis, were both on trial in March over the Toyota Hilux that police found at the wrecking yard they ran.

Dean Louis pleaded guilty at the end of the Crown case, and Mark was found guilty at the end of the trial, when he told the judge he was being bullied by his son, in his own home.

That led to tensions and that night, at home, Dean Louis pushed his father over during an argument, and pleaded guilty to assault when he was arrested and brought back to court.

When the tensions continued, it became clear that both men could not serve home detention terms at the same house where they both lived. After a series of delays, Mark Louis was sentenced to a three month term of community detention, leaving Dean Louis to look for another address.

After more delays while addresses were checked out, Judge Farish decided that he would be sentenced today anyway. She said the stolen car had turned up at the wrecking yard soon after it was stolen, and efforts had been made to disguise it.

She jailed Louis for six months, ordered him to pay $2500 reparations, and gave him leave to apply for home detention if a suitable address became available during his jail term.  

After the sentencing, the man he had planned to share the address with did turn up at court and his arrest warrant was withdrawn.

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