A recidivist violent offender has avoided a preventive detention sentence after impassioned pleas by his supporters to give him one last chance to change his ways.
Jason Rex Thomas Maney, 30s, was sentenced in the Tauranga High Court yesterday to three years 10 months prison after he earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
The charge relates to an unprovoked assault of his mother at a Kaitemako Rd address on August 21, 2016 after Maney became enraged and involved at least three to four blows.
Maney's victim suffered fractures to her right eye socket and nose, and serious bruising to the right side of her face, the court heard.
Tauranga Crown solicitor Anna Pollett urged Justice Timothy Brewer to impose a sentence of preventive detention given the risk Maney posed to the community.
Pollett said reports from a psychiatrist, a psychologist, coupled with the pre-sentence report and Maney's numerous previous convictions for violence all pointed to him posing a "very high risk" of reoffending and harm to others.
The court heard that Maney has spent most of his adult life in and out of jail, and since 2000 he had spent 15.7 years behind bars, most for violent assaults.
Maney's lawyer Tony Richard-Simms argued that Maney was finally at a point in his life where he was ready to make the necessary changes to help him stay offence-free.
It was not just the potential for a preventive detention sentence that had prompted him to ask for help but his genuine change of attitude and desire to change his ways, he said.
Rickard-Simms said a Puwhakamua rehabilitation course being offered by Billy Macfarlane from the Tikanga Aroro Charitable Trust offered his client the chance to do so.
The course aimed at changing the lives of Rotorua repeat offenders through tikanga Maori has the support of police and the Department of Corrections, the court heard.
Macfarlane, who is one of the programme co-ordinators and two elders from the trust, also spoke in support of Maney being given this chance.
Macfarlane said he had personally seen changes in Maney in his dealings with him,
and genuinely believed he was ready to make the changes he needed with help.
Justice Brewer told Maney he was prepared to give him the chance to prove his words.
"I have decided there has been a change in your attitude and the availability of this programme allows me to impose a finite sentence..."
But Justice Brewer said Maney should be under no illusions that this was his last chance to make good on his word.
Should Maney re-offend he would be facing a lengthy period of time behind bars, including the possibility of preventive detention sentence, he said.