Offender suffering from psychosis

A Dunedin man who went on a crime spree in Westport, wilfully damaging 38 tyres on 10 cars, a bus and a tractor in May, was later diagnosed with a mental illness, the Greymouth District Court heard on Friday.

Along with seven wilful damage charges, Perry McDonald was being sentenced on charges of burglary, intentional damage of security equipment and three cars. All of the incidents occurred on May 3 and 4.

McDonald has been in custody for six months.

Lawyer Megan Boyd said the defendant had little recollection of the incidents as he was suffering from psychosis, with which he had been diagnosed while in custody.

She said his situation was aggravated by the collapse of a three-year relationship.

Ms Boyd said McDonald was staying at the Westport Holiday Park, after leaving Auckland following the break-up. He was on his way to family in Dunedin.

She said his offending was out of character and, since he had been in prison, his condition had stabilised.

Ms Boyd suggested McDonald be sentenced to intensive supervision, rather than going to jail, bearing in mind the amount of time he had already served.

Judge Walsh said McDonald, who is 55, had only four criminal convictions as an adult. The last one was in 1985.

He said at the time of the offending McDonald was suffering from a mental illness and a long-term relationship had come to an end.

"You were acting irrationally."

Judge Walsh said aggravating features of the offending included the extent of the damage, which included $20,000 to a digger.

"You are genuinely remorseful and have no dishonesty-related offences."

Judge Walsh said the only sentence for McDonald was one of imprisonment and he was sentenced to nine months' jail.

McDonald would be released almost immediately because of time served.

He was also ordered to pay reparation of $6000, to be divided between the complainants. 

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