Brothers competing to pay for damage

Brothers Jimmy and Rupert Max Ellis-Jones have not quite reached agreement about how to pay for all the damage they did on a drunken spree through Phillipstown and Woolston.

Rupert, 25, has taken out a loan to pay the whole $3520 damage bill for eight cars and a trailer and he will pay it straight away to the courts, to be passed on to the victims.

He doesn’t think Jimmy, 23, should have to pay a half share.

He told Judge David Saunders at their Christchurch District Court sentencing: “I’m happy to pay the full amount because I did destroy his car. I think it’s fair.”

Jimmy, an apprentice builder, doesn’t quite agree and is still talking about paying his half.

“You can make some arrangement between yourselves about paying a share,” said the judge as he sentenced them on joint charges of intentionally damaging the cars and trailer, and Rupert on additional charges of reckless driving and refusing to let the police take a blood specimen.

Judge Saunders said the victims would be pleasantly surprised to get their money paid much earlier than they had expected. A restorative justice meeting has been held, and Rupert has already repaid the one victim who came along.

The police said the brothers spent most of Sunday February 5 drinking heavily, before driving around Phillipstown and Woolston.

On Olliviers Road, Phillipstown, they broke three windows and a wing mirror of one car, and the rear windscreen of two more.

They moved on to Mackenzie Avenue, Woolston, and smashed windows and mirrors on three cars. They they rammed cars and a loaded trailer in Seaforth Place and Dampier Street.

They pleaded guilty to all the charges in May and were remanded for sentence.

Rupert Ellis-Jones told the police he caused the damage because he was “depressed about Waitangi Day, Donald Trump, and the world”.

Judge Saunders asked him today: “Have you come out of that depression yet, notwithstanding the nightly newscasts on Donald Trump?”

“I think it was the alcohol talking,” Rupert explained.

The brothers had no lawyers and spoke respectfully and sincerely for themselves in court.

The judge ordered Rupert to do 100 hours of community work for the intentional damage and driving charges, and ordered him to pay all the reparations.

He ordered Jimmy to do 80 hours of community work for the intentional damage, and put him on supervision for six months with a requirement that he complete any intervention for alcohol use that his probation officer recommends.

For both men, some of the community work can be converted to training hours.

And Jimmy will get a letter from the police, telling him that he is not allowed to let Rupert drive his car any more.

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