‘Too old’ for life of offending

At 38 and facing a lengthy jail term, Cade Lee Manuel has decided he is “too old for this”.

That was the message from his defence counsel Anselm Williams as the central Christchurch resident was jailed for four years four months on charges involving violence, escaping, drugs, firearms, and reckless and dangerous driving.

Mr Williams said that after the Christchurch earthquakes, Manuel had full time work in the construction industry and was in a stable position with his family.

But as the work tailed off, he went back to using methamphetamine.

“He has showed a significant amount of insight,” said Mr Williams. “He has decided he is too old for this, and he wants to provide some sort of presence in his children’s lives.”

In the Christchurch District Court, Manuel had admitted receiving a stolen car that was found in his driveway, unlawful possession of a sawn-off 12-gauge shotgun, seven cartridges, possession of methamphetamine for supply, and cannabis in bags.

He also admitted aggravated injury of a police officer who was wanting access to his house, and failing to supply the password for his cellphone.

From incidents in August and October, he also admitted dangerous and reckless driving, failing to stop twice for the police using their lights and sirens, and failing to stop and ascertain injury after an accident.

Judge Farish said Manuel was no stranger to the courts but there had been a big gap in his offending while he was in employment. When things went wrong, he was likely to slip back into old habits with drug use. He needed “to be humble enough to accept some help in that regard”.

The aggravated injury occurred when he was trying to prevent police from executing a search warrant at his address, where he had 22g of methamphetamine and cannabis, a firearm and ammunition, and a stolen car in the driveway.

He jammed an officer’s arm in his door, causing bruising and swelling. He also tried to get away over the back fence, but was caught.

Manuel then failed to give the password for his cellphone to police who wanted to access the phone to find out who he had been selling methamphetamine to.

Judge Farish noted that he had been carrying out a community work sentence and he had paid off almost $10,000 in fines while he was working.

She said the methamphetamine had been part of a commercial operation. She noted his efforts to get better educated while in prison.

She jailed Manuel for four years four months, and disqualified him from driving for two years.

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