Outburst lands man with list of crimes back in court

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
A man behind a bizarre string of crimes in Central Otago is back in court after a whisky-fuelled outburst.

Shane James Lyon (40) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to obstructing police.

He made headlines last year when he was jailed for two years over an unusual spate of offences from when he was living and working on a rural station near Alexandra.

Soon after Lyon arrived, his employers noticed cash going missing from their kitchen and they set up covert trail cameras, which were stolen or disabled.

In August 2019, while they were away, Lyon went to the homestead, took $180 cash from the kitchen, put a tea towel in the oven and turned it on.

He broke into a gun cabinet and removed four rifles, arranging them to look like they had been dropped by fleeing burglars.

When police arrived, Lyon painted himself as the hero, saying he had scared off the burglars and doused the fire.

The next night, he lit a fire near the back door of his own accommodation while his wife and two children were inside.

Lyon cooked up a story, saying he had been confronted by two masked men who had threatened to harm his children if he did not co-operate.

And the lies continued even while on bail.

The defendant claimed to have been shot, but police found no evidence of such an incident.

Lyon had since been released from prison and was living in Mosgiel with his family, the court heard yesterday.

But police were called to the address on Sunday after reports of an argument. They found a recently smashed door panel and an intoxicated Lyon.

Officers told him he was being detained for the purpose of a police safety order — an enforced cooling-off period for couples in conflict.

Lyon, the court heard, repeatedly disobeyed police instructions and was arrested.

A support worker who had dealt with the man in prison said he had found employment since his release and they were working on an alcohol-relapse plan.

"This isn’t impressive," Judge Emma Smith told Lyon. "You’ve dropped the ball again."

She convicted and discharged the defendant but warned him against future offending.

"It won’t happen again, your honour," Lyon said.



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