Nia Glassie abuser returned to jail

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Michael Pearson. Photo / APN
Michael Pearson. Photo / APN

Michael Pearson, one of those jailed for abusing 3-year-old Nia Glassie, has been sent back to jail.

The Rotorua 24-year-old was yesterday jailed for 12 months for burglary, assaulting a police officer and breaching release conditions.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to all three charges.

During sentencing in the Rotorua District Court, Judge James Weir said Pearson had a "disturbing" history of offending, which included violence against children and numerous appearances for burglary - the most recent in February, when he was sentenced to six months in prison.

The police summary of facts stated that on May 20, shortly after his release from jail, police were called to Pearson's home by family members concerned about his level of intoxication. It was a release condition that Pearson not consume alcohol.

Police breath-tested him and when alcohol was found to be present, Pearson tried to grab the testing device from the officer. He was told he was under arrest.

A struggle followed and he was restrained by two officers.

Pearson was placed in the back of a police car beside a sergeant. He placed his feet against the door during the ride and deliberately thrust himself backwards, butting the top of his head into the sergeant's face. The sergeant was dazed but otherwise uninjured.

The burglary charge related to an incident about 8.30pm on March 21 last year when Pearson entered an unlocked Rotorua business. The owner discovered him in the darkened office unplugging her laptop computer, and called police.

Judge Weir said Pearson's background of relationships was disturbing and he had difficulty relating to people. His "abysmal compliance" with previous court conditions meant there was no option but to jail him.

Pearson's lawyer, Nicky Scott, told the judge prison seemed to do good things for her client - saying he was able to "dry out", get good advice, attend church and better articulate his feelings. She conceded imprisonment was a suitable and inevitable sentence.

In 2008, Pearson was sentenced to three years' jail for ill-treating and assaulting Nia Glassie, who died after months of abuse by several people.

He was freed in 2010 and his parole ended in January last year.

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