Kerry Richard Hall
NZ Lawyer 8 June 2007
Recidivist community nuisance Kerry Richard Hall's master plan has landed him a bed for the winter and three meals a day. In Christchurch District Court today Hall, 33, unemployed, was jailed for nine months for demanding money from the cash drawer at a central Christchurch bank. Hall went into the Cathedral Square branch of the ANZ at 12.30pm on May 10 and twice demanded a customer service officer give him "all the money in the cash drawer". The officer at first thought it was a joke, but asked Hall to wait while she spoke to her supervisor. Hall then sat calmly on a couch in the bank to await the arrival of police.
He told police he wanted to go back to jail because it was "too hard to live on the outside". Judge Graeme Noble obliged today, sending Hall to prison for nine months. Hall's lawyer Vicky Walsh said Hall suffered schizophrenia, epilepsy and anxiety and was unable to restrain himself in stressful circumstances. He was homeless and motivated by "need and desperation" when he entered the bank with the sole intention of being sent back to jail where he would be guaranteed three meals a day. His only other option was living under a bridge. Ms Walsh said at some point there would have to be a different response from authorities to Hall's situation rather than "just sending him back to prison".
He faced "very complex issues". Judge Noble said he accepted Hall had offered no violence toward the bank officer and acknowledged he was a "very sad case". But he said the other side to the case was the "substantial level of trauma" Hall had caused to other people. The bank officer said she was "scared and felt threatened" during the incident and had some difficulty during her work and "moments of panic" since. Judge Noble said Hall appeared to be "one of those legitimate people who fall through the cracks" of the welfare agencies and was unable to survive in the community without close support. He had been offending for 14 years and had more than 100 convictions - 40 for "nuisance-type offending" - and 15 involving violence. He jailed Hall for nine months, expressing a wish that welfare agencies would be able to help him more after he'd served his sentence.
Date of Birth
1974 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to just 9 months in June 2007
Released statutorily October 2007
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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