Prison bashing victim continued to offend

File image. © Andrew Bardwell

Even a brutal broomstick bashing by another prisoner has not been the incentive that Michael Scott Holdem needed to stop his criminal offending.

Last year, Judge Jane Farish spoke of the serious prison assault on Holdem as probably being the catalyst he needed to change his life and stop going back to prison.

“In a strange sort of way, your offending may have assisted him in staying away from prison,” the Christchurch District Court judge told 23-year-old Jamie Bryce Brown as she jailed him for three years nine months for bashing Holdem.

She said Holdem had “made a remarkable recovery” after Brown’s broomstick bashing in prison fractured his skull and ruptured his spleen. “He doesn’t want to go back to prison because he can see how vulnerable he is.”

That incident happened in January 2016, when Brown had become distressed after a phone call from his partner. He approached another inmate and asked who was “the next inmate who needed a hiding”. Holdem was pointed out. Brown then bashed him with a broomstick while he had his back turned making a phone call.

Judge Farish today noted Holdem’s repeated undertakings while in prison to do something about his offending. “He has very good intentions while he is in custody,” she said, but once outside he resorted to methamphetamine and hung out with the same anti-social group.

After the serious prison assault, leniency had been granted as an incentive to keep him out of prison.

However, Holdem had triggered an armed police call-out after an incident at a house in Rangiora.

He and the woman involved – also described in court as a meth user – had fallen out and he had threatened by text to go to her property at 11.45pm. She had barricaded herself inside, but Holdem had got in and punched her several times in the head and stomach. When police searched his property, they found a dismantled firearm, and some Powergel explosive.

He pleaded guilty to charges of assault with intent to injure, and unlawful possession of the firearm and explosives.

Judge Farish said he had been on prison release conditions at the time, and she was concerned about his plans to move to Auckland. “Auckland’s worse than here, and that’s saying something in terms of methamphetamine,” she said.

She jailed Holdem for 27 months and suggested he try to do a course at the Drug Treatment Unit before applying for release through the Parole Board.

“He needs to realise that methamphetamine is an addiction issue for him,” she said. “That’s what keeps on bringing him back.”

In 1999, Holdem was jailed for eight years for living off the prostitution earnings of a 14-year-old, having sex with her, and administering morphine. Ten years later, he received more jail time after trying to get his mother to smuggle drugs to him in prison. He also admitted unlawful possession of a shotgun.


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