Kaikoura’s cut-off community clubbed together to fly a local mum to Christchurch in a Cessna for her son’s sentencing.
And now creative justice will see the son, Timothy John Williams, winging his way back to Kaikoura with his mum on Friday to help with the earthquake clean-up.
Williams, 38, has no particular skills but he is described as a willing worker.
His family has arranged plenty of support up there, but he will also find plenty of work to be done and he won’t be able to go anywhere.
As his defence counsel Tim Fournier said, it will also take him away from Christchurch and the scene of his descent into gambling and drug use.
Williams was appearing for sentencing on charges involving methamphetamine and cannabis.
Judge Farish wanted to give him home detention and get him back to Kaikoura with his family.
“There are plenty of whanau there who are not going to let him go off and access drugs and misbehave,” she said.
Having him on home detention is not possible with the state of the roads. The monitoring bracelet runs on GPS, but if there is some breach, the monitoring company has to be able to get there within a specified time from Blenheim.
There is also no local probation officer, though Judge Farish was assured that the Narcotics Anonymous organisation was still operating.
She decided to put the sentencing off to December 21 and get Williams out of custody in Christchurch and onto the return flight to Kaikoura on Friday.
He will have to stay at his mother’s address, which is not too badly damage. He will be under a curfew, and will have to take counselling as required. He will not be allowed to have or use alcohol or drugs.
On December 21, if the roads are not open, his court appearance will be by telephone.
On that date, Judge Farish will decide whether she is able to put him on home detention, or come up with some more creative criminal justice.