Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Bay's worst crim revealed

Hawke's Bay's worst recidivist criminal has more than 420 convictions - mostly relating to fraud and deception offences, Justice Ministry figures show.

Details of the individual's offending were released to Hawke's Bay Today as part of a wider information request regarding New Zealand's most prolific offenders.

Convictions, grouped by offence type and court cluster, were handed down between July 1980 and June 2012.

New Zealand's worst recidivist criminal has more than 1100 convictions, documents reveal.

Hawke's Bay field worker Howard de Courcy Lys, of the Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Trust, helps offenders reintegrate into the community in a bid to stop them reoffending.

"Our role overall is to fill in the gap between probation and prison.

"We can help people who are released, into accommodation."

The agency also helped former inmates find work and supported them through the job interview process, Mr de Courcy Lys said.

Hawke's Bay's top 10 criminal list shows six individuals have over 200 convictions each. Fraud and deception offences were most common, followed by traffic and vehicle crimes.

The Justice Ministry has refused to name the offenders, or even reveal their age or genders, citing privacy concerns. But it now plans to write to the Chief District Court Judge asking that the names be made public.

Hawke's Bay's worst recidivist drink-driver, Raymond Laing, was last year sentenced to three years in prison after clocking up his 26th drink-driving offence.

The 45-year-old received the maximum jail sentence a judge could impose - two years for drink-driving and two for driving while disqualified. However, it was reduced due to his guilty plea. The judge noted that earlier prison sentences had not deterred Laing, who had "16 pages of previous criminal convictions". He was also disqualified from driving indefinitely.

Both the Howard League for Penal Reform and Sensible Sentencing Trust are calling for our worst recidivist criminals to be publicly named.

"The hardcore conman is the hardest one to rehabilitate," Howard League for Penal Reform chief executive Mike Williams said. "It's a lifestyle choice."

Naming these conmen would benefit the public, Mr Williams said.

"Obviously these are not victimless crimes.

"If you know these people are conmen, you can at least avoid them.

"That's their business and an occupational hazard of that business are jail terms," he said.

The country's worst recidivist offender has 1152 convictions, while number two on the list has clocked up 676.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said criminals should be named after their first offence.

"The name and previous history should be out there from day one."

In total, nearly 6300 convictions were racked up by New Zealand's 10 worst recidivist offenders over the 31 year period.

After fraud and deception offences, crimes for theft were most common, followed by public order offences.

Hawke's Bay's top recidivist criminals

  • Number 1 - 423 convictions: 350 for fraud/deception. The rest include violence, theft, traffic and vehicle offences, drugs, and "dangerous or negligent act endangering persons".

  • Number 2 - 301 convictions: 281 for fraud/deception. The rest include theft crimes and offences against government procedures.

  • Number 3 - 264 convictions: 204 for fraud/deception. The rest include theft, violence, illicit drugs, traffic and vehicle offences and property damage.

  • Individuals listed were convicted for their most recent offence in the Hawke's Bay court cluster, which includes Napier, Dannevirke, Hastings and Waipukurau.

  • Previous offending may have happened elsewhere.

Source - Ministry of Justice

- Hawkes Bay Today

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 24 Apr 2017 15:24:51 Processing Time: 734ms