Judge takes streetkid off the street

Judge takes streetkid off the street

“I worry for the community when you come back,” a judge told a 17-year-old streetkid whose violent inner-city offending earned him a six-month jail term.

Raymond Uriah Charles Taylor was seen as a very high risk of continued offending, and Judge Noel Walsh noted that the teenager’s itinerant lifestyle and drug habit fueled his crimes.

Taylor was being sentenced in the Christchurch District Court after pleading guilty to charges of assault, possession of an offensive weapon, and fighting in a public place.

Defence counsel David Bunce said Taylor had an appalling background “with the not unpredictable results of drifting into a culture of streetkids, petty crime, drug use, and alcohol addiction”.

The probation report recommended imprisonment. “He is seen as a high risk of reoffending with little ability to complete a community-based sentence,” said Mr Bunce.

The remand for sentence had been Taylor’s first time in custody and he had not liked it.

“He’s rather young to be giving up on him,” he said.

Judge Walsh said Taylor was moderately drunk in Hereford Street on December 20 when he got into an argument with a friend, punched a large window and ran off. When a police officer caught him, Taylor was holding a pair of scissors with 10cm long blades.

The lone officer ordered him to put down the scissors but he threw them to a friend. When the officer went after the scissors, Taylor punched him from behind causing a bleeding ear and a headache.

When police caught him, Taylor boasted about punching the officer.

On Boxing Day, Taylor and an associate were walking along Colombo Street with a female friend, and got into an argument over her. They fought until the police intervened.

The probation report said Taylor had abused alcohol since he was 13, and had mixed with a group of criminal associates.

“You lack any sort of lifestyle balance, effectively living on your wits on the streets of Christchurch,” said the judge.

Sadly, Taylor was estranged from his family in the Manawatu.

“Your counsel tells me you don’t like prison. Welcome to the real world. That’s going to be your future if you don’t rapidly change your ways.”

Taylor had few previous convictions but was subject to a sentence of 100 hours of community work, which was cancelled.

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