A knife-wielding intruder in lockdown

Julian Chalk. Photo: ODT
Julian Chalk. Photo: ODT
A Dunedin couple had their lockdown disrupted by a very unwelcome visit from a stranger wielding a knife.

Julian John Chalk (27) knocked on the couple’s door on August 28, the week after New Zealand went into a Level 4 lockdown due to new cases of Covid-19 in the community.

When the man opened the door, Chalk, who was highly agitated, asked for cannabis.

The man said they did not have any and Chalk pushed his way inside the house.

The couple, who have name suppression, did not know Chalk, though the man had seen him twice before with a mutual associate.

Inside the house, Chalk became increasingly agitated and at one stage pulled out a 20cm kitchen knife from under his jacket.

He demanded cash, tobacco and the keys to the woman’s car, which he then left in.

Chalk, a builder of Dunedin, was at the house for about 20 minutes in total.

The Dunedin District Court heard this week that Chalk had gone to the house to look for information on another person he believed had assaulted his friend.

Judge Peter Rollo likened the incident to a home invasion.

"You were in an agitated and aggressive state ... you weren’t invited in, you barged in, you held up a knife that was clearly threatening, leaving the victim concerned as to what would happen next."

Counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner said Chalk had issues with drugs and had ADHD.

Chalk’s methamphetamine addiction had "reared its ugly head" on that particular day.

Chalk could understand how the knife might have scared the victims, and he had attended a restorative justice conference to apologise.

Judge Rollo sentenced Chalk to 16 months’ imprisonment for robbery, with the option of home detention.

The defendant had been offered the opportunity of a building apprenticeship in the future, the judge noted.

Chalk was also required to pay reparations of $608 to the victims.

- By Tina Grumball




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