Mark David Chisnall
Wanganui Chronicle story here
Wanganui Chronicle story 30th March 2006
A man a psychologist said could be a psychopath has been sent to prison for raping a Wanganui woman. Although Mark David Chisnall, 20, received an eight-year prison sentence in the High Court at Wanganui yesterday, his rehabilitation and supervision could last a life-time. Justice Miller sentenced Chisnall under the terms of the the Intellectual Disability Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation Act (IDCCRA) 2003, although there was debate as to whether he should be given a sentence of preventative detention.
His Honour said Chisnall had been assessed by a clinical psychologist as having a "very severe" antisocial personality disorder and an intellectual disability. The sentence means he will be sent to prison, but the prison manager will have the option of having him hospitalised where he would be under line-of-sight supervision, possibly for the rest of his life. Outside the court, members of the victim's family said they would have preferred a sentence of preventative detention but were happy Chisnall would be going to a place where he couldn't hurt anyone else. The family could now move on, they said.
On April 29 last year, the 22-year-old victim left her home to go jogging about 7.45am. Chisnall was waiting for his employer at the bottom of Christie's Hill, between Halswell St and Hillside Tce. The victim noticed Chisnall staring at her. After she ran past, Chisnall biked past her and waited. He then tackled her from behind and dragged her into bushes. He tried to engage her in oral sex, but when she said no, Chisnall became enraged, twisted her head and raped her. He then waited for her to get dressed and told her not to tell anyone.
During his arrest, Chisnall made no explanation for his actions, and his DNA had to be used to determine guilt. The impact was so severe and enduring on the victim that her life fell apart. She ended up giving up her vocational training, lost confidence, had nightmares, and became depressed. Her relationship crumbled. She also suffered a damaged vertebra in the neck. Chisnall, who was raised in Taranaki, was the eldest of three brothers and had shown alarming mental and physical traits from a young age.
At school he had poor concentration, was aggressive, had severe impulsive behaviour and was a bully. He was identified as having ADHD and had assaulted both his brother and mother. After being assessed at one point, Chisnall was also found to have a fascination with firearms and knives and to be cruel to animals. He also had relevant previous convictions. Various doctors and psychologists had assessed Chisnall as having the intellect and personality of a young child. Christchurch-based clinical psychologist Dr Olive Webb, who gave evidence before he was sentenced yesterday, assessed his IQ at 69.
"He has at least an antisocial personality disorder, and I raise the question of whether he might fall into the category of psychopath." He also had a potentially high risk of reoffending, she said. As Chisnall had both personality and intellectual disorders, it meant he was "self-serving". "He has little regard for the impact of his behaviour on other people and does not have the ability to empathise with other people, to feel what they might be feeling at any given time," Dr Webb said. The argument between Crown Prosecutor Andrew Cameron and counsel Lance Rowe came down to could suitable treatment for Chisnall be provided in prison.
Mr Cameron said Chisnall needed to learn three things during his rehabilitation: How to behave regarding others, appropriate sexual behaviour, and how to integrate those two things into a community-based situation. He was confident this could be learnt in prison, with professional advice. However, hospitalisation could place other patients at risk because Chisnall had previously bullied patients more vulnerable than himself. Justice Miller preferred to sentence Chisnall under the IDCCRA, which would give him a secure environment as well as access to rehabilitation and training programmes.
His Honour found Chisnall had excess need of stimulation, and a deviant sexual attitude, and targeted people more vulnerable than himself. However, as Chisnall was intellectually disabled he was also at risk. The officer in charge of the case, Wanganui police Constable John Gleeson, said he was happy that, when Chisnall was released from prison, he would go to a secure unit, "so that's a good thing". Mr Cameron said Chisnall would now face "line-of-sight supervision", possibly for the rest of his life.
Further info from this Fairfax Media story
A handicapped Wanganui man was yesterday jailed for eight years for raping a jogger. Mark Chisnall, 20, attacked the 22-year-old woman on a walking track in April last year, the High Court in Wanganui was told. He jumped on her and dragged her into bushes and raped her. Justice Forrie Miller said Chisnall had been diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability and an anti-social personality disorder
Date of Birth
1985 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 8 years in March 2006, already spent 10 months on remand
Eligible for parole January 2008
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Rapist to be moved to Christchurch after completing sentence
Mark David Chisnall Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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