Questions over gang connections set aside

Court House-doorwayA Shirley woman has been given a community-based sentence even after concerns were raised that her property was connected to an alleged gang kidnapping and bashing incident in August.

Community Probation had raised safety concerns about Jade Kelly’s property, if its staff were going to have to go there to check her during any term of home or community detention.

Kelly’s sentencing on a series of shoplifting charges, and one of refusing a blood specimen, was put off last month for more checks to be made.

The 27-year-old was back before Judge Bridget Mackintosh in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.

Police had told the court that after an incident where they alleged Mongrel Mob members had kidnapped and bashed a rival gang member, one of the men arrested had been found at Kelly’s property.

Defence counsel Grant Tyrrell told the court yesterday: “There was an allegation that her property was involved in a very serious incident. There was no suggestion that she had been directly involved. All of those people are now remanded in custody.”

The difficulties Kelly faced were relatively clear. She had an on-going struggle with drug addiction and was easily led by negative influences, he said. She had access to her children twice a week and a community-based sentence would allow her to continue that involvement.

Judge Mackintosh said Kelly’s offending had been carried out to feed a drug habit. That had now been “taken in hand somewhat”.

The pre-sentence report recommended intensive supervision and community work which would allow her to continue on the methadone programme.

The judge imposed 180hours of community work, and 12 months’ intensive supervision which will include rehabilitation as directed. She was also disqualified from driving a for six months for the charge of refusing a blood test.

Reparation from the shoplifting amounted to $6149, but the judge ordered Kelly — a beneficiary — to repay only half of it by instalments.



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