Crash survivor jailed for violence

A survivor of a triple-fatal car crash eight years ago is still struggling with post traumatic stress disorder as he begins a jail term for choking a woman unconscious and breaking her bones.
The victim, who had a brief relationship with Reece James Dick-Durham, was in court to see the 25-year-old jailed for four years six months by Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders.
The judge explained to her that because she was registered under the Victim Notification Register, she would be informed when Dick-Durham was to be considered for release on parole. She would be able to tell the Parole Board of her views by letter, or make submissions at the hearing.
If she were fearful, the board could protect her by imposing geographical boundaries that Dick-Durham would not be allowed to cross, he said.
The incident on January 15 happened when the woman returned to her home after some time away to find that unemployed Dick-Durham had been allowing other people to stay there.
In the argument that followed, Dick-Durham strangled her until she was unable to breathe and lost consciousness. When she tried to get away he threw a glass at her, which missed, and struck her repeatedly over the head with a metal frying pan until the pan broke.
The woman had broken and dislocated fingers, bruising to her arms, a head cut and potential fractured cheek bone.
Dick-Durham acknowledged that he “lost it” when the woman would not listen to him, and said he had stopped choking her “just in time”.
Defence counsel Linda Drummond said Dick-Durham had written letters for the judge and the victim and still hoped that a restorative justice meeting could take place with the woman after the jail term began.
She said: “He acknowledges the significant effect his use of methamphetamine had on his behaviour before and during this offending. He acknowledges it is a factor he has to address.”
Prosecutor Sophia Bicknell Young said the Crown was sceptical of Dick-Durham’s claims of remorse because of his comments in the pre-sentence report minimising his offending and not taking responsibility. It was vicious attack on a woman in her own home.
Judge Saunders said Dick-Durham had a lot of work to do in prison because of his over-indulgence and abuse of drugs. Before release, he would need to show the Parole Board that he had insight into the consequences of his use of drugs, particularly methamphetamine.
The pre-sentence report referred to an attitude of self-entitlement and a pattern of anti-social behaviour. He had been using P weekly.
Dick-Durham had admitted charges of injuring and wounding the woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and assaulting her using the glass as a weapon.
The judge referred to his continuing issues with post-traumatic stress disorder, eight years after the car crash in which three young people were killed in the car he was travelling in.
Worthy Redeemed, a born-again Christian aged 39 at the time, was a front-seat passenger in the car with Dick-Durham and the others when he yanked the steering wheel and sent the car into the path of an on-coming bus on State Highway 1 near Woodend, in North Canterbury.
Only Redeemed, formerly known as Lee Errol Silvester, and Dick-Durham survived the crash.
Redeemed was convicted at trial of three charges of manslaughter, and causing injury and grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard. Some of those on the bus were injured. He was jailed for 14 years in 2011.
Dick-Durham has had a difficult history since then with violent behaviour in spite of assistance from the local North Canterbury community, and convictions and jail sentences for assault with a weapon and aggravated assault.

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