Man admits ‘grenade’ threat to MP

A 39-year-old Linwood man has admitted sending an email that threatened a Member of Parliament with a grenade.Troy Rudigar Hutchinson pleaded guilty to the charge at the Christchurch District Court today, and has been remanded in custody pending a bail hearing.

Judge Brian Callaghan remanded him for sentencing on the charge of threatening to do grievous bodily harm but was going to consider a bail application late in the afternoon. Police opposed Hutchinson’s release on bail.

The name of the MP was suppressed.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Iain Patton said Hutchinson had a history of sending emails to MPs expressing dissatisfaction with the service they provided.

On Tueday, he said an email to an MP at a parliamentary address saying: “You worked for me for years. Way too expensive. Boom.”

The email then refers to the mess that New Zealand Defence Force grenades cause.

The MP referred the email to the police because he was concerned for the safety of himself, his family, and his electorate staff.

Hutchinson said he had sent the email because he was unhappy about how New Zealand was being run. He said the MP would not be safe in the future, and he would not be concerned about going to prison.

After a bail hearing in the afternoon — in which the details are suppressed — Judge Callaghan remanded Hutchinson in custody for sentencing on September 12. He asked for a pre-sentence report that will consider his suitability for home detention.

Hutchinson dismissed the services of a duty lawyer at court today and spoke for himself.

He has had another episode as a difficult customer at court in 2011 when he was facing charges of assaulting a man, assaulting another man with intent to injure, and intentional damage to an automatic teller machine after an incident at Christchurch Airport.

At court that day, he initially refused to speak to the duty lawyer or the judge until he was threatened with a remand in custody.

At his trial and sentencing almost two years later, the court was told that he had struggled with stress after people he knew had died in the Canterbury Television building collapse. His psychiatric report said he had difficulty interacting with authority, and his aggressive behaviour was entrenched. He was granted eight months’ home detention, ordered to pay $2000 for the damage to the ATM he had tipped over, and had to attend psychological counselling as recommended.

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