Car jack 'idiot' remanded

A judge has condemned a Wanganui man's "lawless, intimidatory" behaviour over a parking space.

The "idiot with a car jack", as described by Judge David Cameron, appeared in Whanganui District Court yesterday after an incident where he tried to frighten off a stranger with a jack handle.

Michael James Hamilton pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon following the July 3 offending when he was motioning and "aggressively mouthing" for another driver to drive away from the area he was parked in.

The other car was parked about 20 metres from the victim at the time, police prosecutor Sergeant Drew Morrison told the court.

When the other driver didn't leave, Hamilton grabbed the jack handle, got out of his car, and "aggressively gestured towards the vehicle".

Judge David Cameron said he regarded the offending as "totally and utterly socially unacceptable", and said a stranger shouldn't be "confronted like this by an idiot with a car jack in his hand, simply for being there".

"It's lawless, it's antisocial, it's intimidatory, it's not acceptable, and will be met by a stern response from the court".

Defence lawyer Harete Hipango said Hamilton had no history of violence convictions.

"I've probed with this young man as to whether the brain engaged with the action," Ms Hipango said.

She called Hamilton's actions "male bravado in front of two mates".

Hamilton didn't move from his vehicle after stepping out of it, she said.

"He's bored, he's frustrated, he's just doing silly, stupid behaviour."

Mr Morrison said it would have been "a terrifying matter for the victim".

Judge Cameron wondered why Hamilton had the jack handle in the car with him rather than keeping it in the boot "where every normal person keeps such an item".

Hamilton was remanded to August 26 for a Restorative Justice conference to be arranged. He would also be sentenced on that day.

- By the Wanganui Chronicle

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