Nicholas Brian Wyatt
Notes on sentence here (PDF)
Appeal Court decisionhere
NZ Herald story 18th June 2003
Police are warning the public not to approach an escaped prisoner, last seen wandering around Raglan on Saturday.Nicholas Brian Wyatt, 18, who has a history of violence, walked away from a Waikeria Prison work party on Friday. He is caucasian, 1.72m (5ft 8in), with blond hair and a clean-shaven, freckled complexion. He was wearing grey trackpants and a green bush shirt with a hood. If you know where Wyatt is, phone Hamilton police on (07) 858-6200.
Sentencing notes of Justice Ronald Young as follows:
 Mr Wyatt you are now for sentence having pleaded guilty to six counts in an indictment, all arising from your offending on 8 November 2007. The charges I sentence you on are:
a) threatening to kill;
c) aggravated robbery;
d) using a document for pecuniary advantage;
e) unlawfully taking a motor vehicle; and
f) theft of equipment from the vehicle along with a cell-phone.
 At about 2.30 a.m. on 8 November 2007 the victim was looking in the boot of his car trying to adjust his speakers. You and another man were walking along the same street looking for a car to steal. The two of you approached the victim. You put a knife to his throat and ordered him to get into the vehicle. Your co-accused stood to the side also holding a knife. Your knife was approximately 15 cm in length. You forced the victim into the driver's seat of the vehicle at knifepoint, held a knife to his throat from the back seat and directed him to drive towards Cambridge. You constantly threatened to kill him if he did not comply with your wishes.
 In a secluded area just off State highway 1 you ordered him to stop. You took his EFTPOS card and demanded the number for it. You threatened to kill him if he gave you the wrong number. You then forced him into the boot of the car, again threatening to kill him if he made any noise.
 You drove off to Cambridge and extracted $130 from his account and then drove towards Hamilton driving erratically, doing “burnouts” and travelling at high speed.
 You then headed towards Raglan and at the top of the Raglan/Hamilton road you pulled into a parking area. You took the victim out of the boot and led him up a walkway. He thought you were going to kill him and he pleaded for his life. About 200 metres up the walkway you bound his hands and feet and pushed him into the bush.
 You then drove off towards Hamilton. At the Hamilton address you removed a number of items from the car worth approximately $1,000.
 In the meantime the victim who had understandably feared for his life stayed in the bush for some hours. Eventually he came out, flagged down a car and was taken to the Raglan Police Station.
 You did not plead guilty at the first opportunity. You delayed your plea until after a committal for trial. You then began disputing some of the facts, which gave rise to the offending. Your plea was very much at the last moment. Finally, you accepted the summary of facts, which I have identified today and on which I sentence you.
 The Crown submits that because of your past this Court should consider a sentence of preventive detention. For a young man of now twenty-three years of age, you do have a very serious list of previous convictions. Your recorded offending began in the Youth Court in 2000. You were convicted in 2000 of serious sexual offending relating to a young boy in June 1999 and you were convicted shortly afterwards of attempts to rob and extortion. A number of further convictions followed in the Youth Court including burglaries and dishonesty offending.
 By early 2001 you had graduated to the District Court. You were convicted of further burglaries and unlawfully taking cars and then in June 2001 you were sentenced to four years' imprisonment for aggravated robbery, burglary and kidnapping. I will deal with the facts of that case later in my remarks.
 You must have offended shortly after your release in 2003 and you were sentenced again to imprisonment for burglary and dishonesty. You committed further sexual offending in 2006, with a young thirteen year old girl and you were sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment.
 An extended supervision order was made upon your release, which in 2007 you breached and were sentenced to further imprisonment. This offending occurred shortly after your release from prison. I suggest now to you most strongly, Mr Wyatt, that you keep your comments to yourself while I sentence you unless you wish to convince me of something other than I have in mind.
 An extended supervision order was made upon your release, which in 2007 you breached and you were sentenced to further imprisonment. This offending, as I have said, occurred while you were subject to that extended supervision order.
 The pre-sentence report records you have a long term drug and alcohol problem and a serious problem with violence and obviously sexual offending. You told the probation officer that since these events and since you had become a father there is a positive change and you are motivated to change. But the probation officer expressed doubt about your motivation.
 There are two reports from the Regional Psychiatric Service and the Psychological Service. Understandably they highlight the difficulty of predicting serious sexual or serious violent offending in the future. But the psychiatrist identifies four matters, which he suggested placed you in the high risk of repeat violent offending.
 They include the fact that you often blame others for your offending, you minimise the effect that your offending has, you deny responsibility by putting the blame on lack of appropriate courses and you have poor impulse control and anger problems. The tests undertaken by the psychologist illustrate that you are at high risk of re-offending both violent and sexual.
 I have had the opportunity of reading the two victim impact reports and I want to acknowledge today the presence of the victims' mother. The victim impact report describes firstly, the economic loss that the victim suffered, including the damage to the car. His insurance did not cover anything like the loss that he has had to suffer and the reality is you have no prospect of paying him back. Moreover, he describes the terror he felt. He, perfectly understandably, thought that he was going to be killed by you. He was at University at the time. Again, understandably, he was unable to sit his final exams and left University for a period to try and come to terms with what happened. He had to delay his degree. I have also had the chance of reading the reports that underline the effect that your actions have had, not just on him, but on his wider family.
 The Crown say that the aggravating features here of the use of knives, the pre-meditation, multiple attackers, the lengthy time of the kidnapping and the severe threats together with your history of serious offending, of serious harm to victims and the high risk of re-offending suggest that preventive detention should be imposed. They say you are not sufficiently motivated to address the problems behind your offending and that you blame others.
 I take into account what Mr Hesketh has said, both in his written submissions and before me today. He says I should not impose a sentence of preventive detention. He stresses the sentence imposed on your co-offender and your plea of guilty. He says that some of the serious offending was when you were very young and that you acknowledge now, and are motivated to, address the problems that you have. He says that previous treatment programmes did not adequately treat the problem you have and given your age and lack of focused treatment a sentence of preventive detention would be inappropriate. He accepts that a sentence significantly greater than your co-offender is appropriate but submits that a finite sentence should be imposed.
 As far as your co-accused is concerned I acknowledge that he pleaded guilty early on. The Judge took a starting sentence of seven years' imprisonment but took into account the co-offender was only seventeen years of year, four years younger than you and had no previous criminal convictions. That resulted in a substantial reduction in the start sentence down to three years and ten months' imprisonment.
 Should I impose preventive detention? I accept that you have a qualifying offence and you are over eighteen years of age. I have to consider whether it is likely upon release, taking into account any extended supervision order, that you will commit a qualifying offence of a sexual or violent nature upon the expiry of that finite sentence.
 For this purpose it is appropriate for me to consider broadly what finite sentence I would impose. I conclude that it would be in the region of somewhat more than seven years' imprisonment.
 In considering future risk I take into account that there is some pattern of serious offending. You had committed serious offending in the past. I have already mentioned the 2001 serious aggravated robbery involving a knife. On that occasion you entered a house and threatened the occupants with a knife. You held some woman prisoner while others obtained the keys to a car. You threatened to kill them if they reported the home invasion. I note you were sixteen years of age then. This of course was extremely serious offending.
 I also take into account you have previous convictions for sexual offending, most recently you were sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. While I do not undervalue the seriousness of that sexual offending, the sentences illustrate that they were not at the highest level of seriousness.
 As to community harm there is no doubt, whatsoever, of the very serious harm to the victim's of your offending and to the community.
 As to your tendency to commit future offences, I have mentioned already the two reports. I accept the difficulty of predicting future offending behaviour but I accept that without effective intervention there is a high risk of serious offending, both sexual and violent.
 As to your efforts to address the causes of your offending, this has been uneven. I accept that you are interested in finding ways to stop offending but as the reports reveal too often this is on your terms with a denial of responsibility. You need to fully accept responsibility for what you have done and to accept expert guidance on how to address your problems. I accept, however, that you do have some interest in addressing the factors behind your offending but demanding that you be treated in a particular way is unlikely to help.
 Is a lengthy determinate sentence appropriate for community protection together with an extended supervision order? As I have said a final sentence of slightly in excess of seven years is appropriate together with the possibility of an extended supervision order of up to ten years are the factors I must take into account. Of course, as the Crown points out, you have already breached an extended supervision order.
 My assessment is that this case is in fine balance. In the end I have reached the conclusion that there remains some realistic hope of addressing your offending. You are still a young man and were very young when some of the serious offending was committed. I am conscious given your youth that some hope can reasonably be held open that a lengthy determinate sentence, together with extended supervision is preferable for public protection.
 But I want to say this to you, Mr Wyatt, whatever the rights and wrongs of the previous rehabilitation you will now have a chance to participate in what experts think are programmes that are suitable for you. They will not be on your terms. They will not be in a prison that you think suits you. If you do not accept that then in my assessment it is virtually inevitable you will re-offend and if you do so next time in a serious sexual or violent way a sentence of preventive detention is inevitable. It will be a long time before you will be able to convince anyone to release you from prison.
 As to the sentence I will impose. This was very serious offending of its type. The experience for the victim was terrifying. The fact that it was planned at least as far as car theft is concerned, the use of the knives, the presence of another, the lengthy kidnapping, the constant threats to kill and the immediate ability to carry out were all serious matters. Abandoning the victim, the theft and the use of his EFTPOS card all make it worse. They all justify a starting point of eight years' imprisonment. I add to that a significant uplift of twelve months' imprisonment for your past offending together with the fact that you were subject to an extended supervision order when you committed this offending to nine years' imprisonment.
 Your plea of guilty came late. Twelve months after you were originally charged. I take into account that plea of guilty but only a modest deduction of 20% approximately is appropriate. That reduces the start sentence of nine years down to seven years and three months' imprisonment.
 I am satisfied that the statutory criteria for a minimum period of imprisonment are met and that near to the maximum is justified. I impose a minimum period of four years' imprisonment.
 The sentences are made up in this way:
a) on the kidnapping, seven years and three months' imprisonment;
b) on the aggravated robbery, four years' imprisonment;
c) on the threatening to kill, three years' imprisonment;
d) on the using of document, unlawfully taking of motor vehicle and theft, six months.
All to be concurrent.
Date of Birth
Sexual assault of a young boy in June 1999 and convictions for attempts to rob and extortion in 2000
Aggravated robbery, kidnapping, car theft and burglary in 2001
Sexual violation (three charges) of a 13 year old Te Awamutu girl in February 2006
Robbed, threatened to kill and hijacked a man at knifepoint to Cambridge in November 2007, plus burglary, using a document for pecuniary advantage and theft of equipment from a motor vehicle along with a cell-phone
Extensive history of violence and property offences
Sentenced to 4 years for aggravated robbery, kidnapping, car theft and burglary in 2001
Paroled December 2004 but reoffended 6 days later
Sentenced to another 6 months in January 2005
Sentenced to just 18 months for the sexual violation charges
Released 2007 under extended supervision for which he breached shortly after
Sentenced to 7 years 3 months with a 4 year non-parole period in June 2009
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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