Deported offender made arson threat

Court House-general 3A New Zealand sex offender sent back from Australia after serving jail time has been fined for threatening to burn down the Probation Service’s Christchurch offices.

Jason Mark Gibbons, 31, was also jailed for a month after breaching the new laws to manage returning offenders.

Defence counsel Donald Matthews said the threat had been made when Waller “let his frustrations get the better of him”.

Police told the court that Gibbons had an “extensive criminal history” in Australia and had been deported after serving prison time.

The Probation Service told the court that he had Australian convictions for assault causing bodily harm and indecent treatment of a child aged under 16.

The convictions have made him liable for management under the Returning Officers (Management and Information) Act passed by Parliament last year after Australia began a series of deportations.

He was assessed as being a “returning prisoner” and was made subject to a year of release conditions.

These include living at an approved address, undergoing rehabilitation assessment and treatment, not travelling outside New Zealand without written approval, and not associating with any child under 16 unless under the direct supervision of an approved adult.

He pleaded guilty to charges of failing to report to a probation officer as required, moving out of an approved address, and speaking threateningly.

Police said Gibbons had a meeting with his woman probation officer on June 14.

He told her he had been given a job at a clothing store at a Christchurch shopping mall.

The officer said that was not acceptable and she would be contacting the clothing store.

Gibbons became angry and said: “Nobody will contact my employer. If you contact my employer I will burn down this building.”

He repeated the threat and then left the office.

When the police spoke to him he said he did not mean the threat and it was “just words”.

Mr Matthews said Gibbons had served four-and-a-half years imprisonment and had then been ordered back to New Zealand where he had not been for over 20 years. He had no family, nor any other form of support. He now had approved accommodation available with the Salvation Army.

Judge MacAskill made a final order imposing the special conditions, jailed Gibbons for a month, and ordered fines, costs, and emotional harm reparations totalling $680 for the threatening charge.

Because of the time he has spent in custody on remand, Gibbons will be released immediately.

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