‘Change in his view’ after time with daughter

"My dad was in and out of prison my whole life, and I don’t want the same for my daughter," a recidivist offender has told a court.

Christopher Lee Wilson (35) had racked up 142 convictions during his criminal career, the Dunedin District Court heard this week.

But time spent with his daughter recently seemed to have led to a "change in his view in the world", the court heard.

Judge Michael Turner believed Wilson to be genuine and reflected that “he has no desire to see his child, or children, follow the same path he has”.

Wilson was sentenced on charges of receiving, dishonestly using a debit card, assault with a car, driving while disqualified and unlawfully being in an enclosed yard.

Court documents describe the first instance, on March 3 last year, when Wilson walked into a Makikihi property of a woman he did not know.

She asked him to leave because he had the wrong address, but he instead let himself into the backyard, kicking one of the dogs as he did so.

After Wilson finally left the property, the victim called her friend over for help.

Wilson then reversed his car down the driveway, and called the friend over to him, but as the man was in front of the car, he accelerated.

The male victim tried to jump out of the way but was clipped on the shoulder.

The second round of offending occurred five months later on August 1, when Wilson and an associate entered an unlocked room at the boarding house Wilson was residing at.

They stole an ANZ debit card and a wedding ring, engagement ring and cash worth a total of $3800.

He used the stolen debit card at a petrol station, and sold the rings to a jeweller for $200.

Tracked down by police at a local motel a month later, Wilson was caught trying to squeeze himself through the bathroom window to avoid arrest.

Wilson had never had a driver’s licence, and these incidents were the 23rd and 24th time he had been convicted of driving while disqualified.

The court heard Wilson had a “harrowing” background, having suffered abuse, neglect and social deprivation.

While Judge Turner refused to accept there was a direct link between Wilson’s background and the offences, he accepted those circumstances would “decrease his overall moral culpability.”

However, he was impressed with the steps Wilson had taken to change for his daughter.

Wilson was sentenced to two years, seven months’ imprisonment, and ordered to pay $1100 reparation.

“I’m 35 now. I know at the end of the day I’m in jail, but I can honestly say that I won’t be back here again,” Wilson said.

 - tina.grumball@odt.co.nz



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