A "grossly intoxicated" man who held a samurai sword to his
mother's throat when she refused to hand over his car keys
has been ordered to undergo alcohol counselling.
A judge told 19-year old Cameron Fergus today that he needed
to urgently address his addiction after the incident at his
Christchurch family home last year.
Following the attack, he was also charged over a drunken car
smash in which he fell asleep at the wheel and drove through
a deer fence.
He destroyed 100m of fencing when he went off State Highway
60, near Havelock, causing $3325 worth of damage, which he
has since repaid in full.
Today, he avoided jail at Christchurch District Court when a
judge sentenced him to 12 months' supervision, with special
conditions that he undergo treatment and counselling for
"It is in your best interest, and in the best interests of
the community, that you... do something about your alcohol
problems before it gets out of hand," Judge Alistair Garland
The court earlier heard how Fergus was drunk on October 10
when his mother refused to give him his car keys.
The process worker stormed off to his bedroom and returned
with a samurai sword which he put it to his mother's throat.
Fergus, of Northwood in Christchurch, was originally charged
with threatening to kill, and assault with a weapon.
But his mother was not injured and it was later reduced to
one charge of threatening behaviour.
Judge Garland said the December 9 crash, where he had an
excess breath alcohol reading of 518mcg per litre of breath -
the limit is 400mcg - was a "serious accident".
But he praised Fergus, who has no prior convictions, for
already paying for the damage.
The judge fined him $500 and disqualified him from driving
for the minimum period of six months.
Defence counsel Andrew Bailey said the sword incident
occurred during a "low point" of his client's mental health
and alcohol consumption.
He had been bailed to live with his mother and she supported
him, the lawyer said.
Fergus had been assessed to take part in the Bridge Programme
for alcohol and drug addiction and was keen to address his
"quite severe alcohol problems".