Jail threat brings rapid reparation offer

After being told to turn up at court with a large cheque or be prepared for an immediate jail term, a man found guilty of vandalising EQC cars has come up with a $15,000 offer.

Russell Taylor Carr, 57, has now been given another three weeks to come up with the funds after his sentencing was delayed for four hours by a clearly cross judge so that he could talk about some serious money.

In those hours, Carr told his defence counsel Nikita Mitskevich that he could come up with $7000 straight away, and if he was given some more time he could get the rest of the money as a loan from a friend. He would rather use that time to get it as a bank loan.

When he was told that, Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll remanded the sentencing to June 11. “I expect the full reparation to be paid then,” he said, granting bail.

At the scheduled morning sentencing, the judge – who found Carr guilty of intentional damage at his trial in February – said the part-retired decorator continued to deny the offending and he believed he would not pay a cent of the reparation if an order was made. And yet, he was planning to travel overseas.

At the trial, the court heard that Carr acknowledged having “quite extensive problems with EQC” and the police alleged that on July 1, 2016, Carr drove his van along Barry Hogan Drive, Addington, and sprayed a liquid in the direction of several EQC cars. Five to seven cars were damaged.

The spraying, apparently with paint stripper, has led to a reparation bill of $14,374, plus testing costs.

Judge O’Driscoll began the morning hearing by saying that he only wanted to know what Carr’s proposal was for reparation.

Mr Mitskevich said Carr was semi-retired but did do some work, if reparation was imposed.

Judge O’Driscoll said: “He’s denying the offending. I don’t believe he’s going to pay it. I want money paid, or a cheque, before I sentence him. He is going overseas for a trip. If he wants to go, I want some meaningful reparation.”

He said that if reparation was paid in full, he would impose a sentence of community work and reparation.

If it were not paid, a electronic sentence to keep Carr at his home would be imposed, but Carr had declined to be assessed for an electronic sentence, he said. “The alternative is a sentence of imprisonment. I’m not playing games with him, and he’s not playing games with me.”

If imprisonment was imposed, then Carr’s overseas trip would be “gone”.

“With his attitude at the moment, I have no confidence that he would pay one cent of reparation if it was left to him,” aid Judge O’Driscoll.

He delayed the sentencing for four hours to give Carr a chance to speak with his lawyer.

He told Carr directly that he could expect immediate imprisonment in the afternoon if he did not come up with the funds. He said: “Bring a bag if there is no reparation being offered.”

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