‘Rampage’ offender gets extra jail time for outburst

A man shot by police in a rampage across Christchurch seven years ago will stay in custody as a special patient after another violent outburst that injured a nurse.

Zakariye Mohammed Hussein, 33, is still seen as an increased risk of acting violently if his mental illness leads to mood disturbance or psychosis.

A treatment plan and a safety plan for his eventual release would require a lot of work, mental health staff told Hussein’s sentencing session at the Christchurch District Court today.

Judge Brian Callaghan decided to imprison him for an extra 10 months, and also to sentence him as a special patient under the Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act.

The court was told that Hussein’s mental health was stabilising, and defence counsel Michael Sandom said he had shown a new willingness to engage in treatment and turn his life around.

The threat of him being sent back from Hillmorton Hospital to serve time in prison had been “a real motivator” for him to engage in mental health treatment,  Mr Sandom said.

Hussein was originally jailed for a violent, armed rampage across Christchurch in March 2012, which ended with him being shot twice by police.

At that time he was sentenced for charges of unlawful possession of a knife in Redwood Primary School and Hoon Hay Road, kidnapping a council worker and a woman, wounding the council worker with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and injuring the woman with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was jailed for six years six months for that rampage, and he would have been due for release on September 16 last year, but shortly before that he poured a cup of black coffee over a nurse’s head at Hillmorton Hospital, where he was being held in the forensic unit. The man received superficial burns to his right cheek, ear, and chest.

Hussein pleaded guilty in early September to a charge of intentionally injuring the nurse.

He told police he did it because the staff assaulted him when they gave him his medication by injection.

Two psychiatric reports were prepared ahead of the sentencing. The first showed a very gloomy outlook on life but the second showed a willingness to engage in treatment.

Mr Sandom said Hussein’s wish to pass his apology to the judge showed increased insight and “a willingness to turn his life around”.

Judge Callaghan noted a doctor’s report that Hussein’s mental health was stabilising and he was “well engaged” with treatment.

He said Hussein had a “pitiful” background, with his upbringing and his mental health issues.

The latest attack had caused an injury that was unpleasant and painful at the outset, but there did not seem to have been long term injury.

He jailed Hussein for 10 months, and also sentenced him to be a special patient under the Criminal Procedures (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act – a recommendation from the doctors.