Rehab chance for ill-fated offender

Murray James Allan’s criminal career has involved being shot in the face by police and beaten by the Tribesmen gang, but he will now get another chance at rehabilitation.

The 25-year-old has spent most of his adult life in prison, but after spending eight months remanded in custody for his latest offending he should be released soon.

The 15-month jail term imposed by Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish amounts to time served.

He will be released to live under effective supervision for a year, at a specified address with family, and undertaking any rehabilitation programme that is directed.

Judge Farish was keen that Allan arrange his own rehabilitation course, possibly at the Smart Recovery Programme. She said she wanted him to go to a rehabilitation course rather than the taxpayer paying $100,000 to keep him in prison for a year.

But she said the Corrections Department was finding itself “overwhelmed” by the need to find placements for people with high needs. She urged Allan to make his own inquiries and find his own place at a drug and alcohol programme.

She ordered destruction of the firearms, ammunition, and drugs and equipment involved in his latest offending.

That included unlawful possession of a firearm and a restricted weapon, possession of a pipe for using drugs, unlawfully using a stolen car, breach of his release conditions, possession of ammunition, and possession of cannabis and methamphetamine.

Last year, Allan realised he was lucky to be standing in the dock being sentenced, after pulling an imitation pistol on the police and being shot in the face.

He was jailed for 18 months. After his release he tried to “out” himself from the Tribesmen gang.

That led to a gang bashing that put him in hospital for two weeks. Then the gang visited him at home where he was living with family members.

He was frightened by that and went on the run for a week, committing further offences in the process.

Defence counsel Ethan Huda said that even though the first choice for a rehabilitation programme was not available, Allan hoped a place could be found for him somewhere. “His view is that some rehab is better than no rehab.”

Judge Farish told Allan: “I don’t want to see you again in this situation. Let’s see if you can make it work this time around.”