Anti-vaccination crusader to be sentenced

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Chris Savage administered alternative medicine to a diabetic. Photo: Warren Buckland
Chris Savage administered alternative medicine to a diabetic. Photo: Warren Buckland

An anti-vaccination campaigner who ordered a diabetic to stop taking insulin and injected him with an unknown substance will today be sentenced on a charge of criminal nuisance.

Australian Christopher William Savage, 53, pleaded guilty to the charge earlier in the year.

Savage arrived in New Zealand in April. He was "widely known as being an anti-vaccine campaigner and a supporter of alternative medicines for treatment of illnesses", a police summary states.

The victim was a diabetic who suffered from several health issues and accepted the defendant's offer of help when he claimed he had a cure.

Initially, Savage had the diabetic lie on a therapeutic mat to stimulate ion channels and gave him magnesium orally.

He then ransacked the diabetic's pantry - throwing out unhealthy foods and replenishing them with a selection of his own approved foods.

"The victim was somewhat reluctant to undertake the measure imposed on him by the defendant, but continued to do so for a period of time," the summary of facts states.

Savage stopped the diabetic's prescribed regular insulin injections because he believed they were no longer needed with his alternative treatment regime.

But the diabetic became increasingly ill without his insulin, "at this point, on two separate occasions, the defendant has inserted a needle into the victim's arm and administered an unknown liquid, intravenously".

The summary stated the victim was in an ill state, unable to stop Savage and was worried about the effects of the medicine.

He described the needle being inserted into the vein as "very painful as the defendant pats his arm trying to find the vein".

When interviewed, Savage told police the diabetic was a consenting patient and was aware Savage did not have medical qualifications or New Zealand registrations.

During the second intravaneous treatment, the diabetic was rushed to hospital after his son activated a medic alert device through St John.

Savage left Hawke's Bay soon after the diabetic's hospital admission and travelledthroughout New Zealand.

In March, Hawke's Bay District Health Board issued a public warning urging people not to accept medical services, treatment or advice from Savage.

The Medical Council of New Zealand website states doctors practising medicine must be registered and hold a current practising certificate. It is illegal to practise in New Zealand without one.

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