20 Sep 2012

Man jailed for at least 3 years for stabbing rampage

8:07 pm on 20 September 2012

A Christchurch man who kidnapped a delivery truck driver before stabbing her and a council worker has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of half that.

The unemployed Somali refugee, Zakariye Mohammed Hussein, had pleaded guilty in June to unlawful possession of a knife, kidnapping, and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Towards the end of the incident in March, Hussein was held back by a member of the public, before being shot twice by police after pepper spray and a taser had no effect.

In sentencing in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday, Judge David Saunders said Hussein was seriously violent towards his victims, who were particularly vulnerable in their vehicles.

The judge said those affected by the rampage suffered not only physical but emotional harm.

"It's clear that those people that were the innocent bystanders and persons who became embroiled in this have suffered not only physical but emotional harm, and I say that in relation to what I have read of the victim impact statements."

The judge did take into account Hussein's poor mental health, early guilty plea, and remorse for what he did.

Defence lawyer Allister Davis publicly apologised at the request of his client, saying Hussein was extremely sorry for what he did and that he had been possessed by the devil.

Mr Davis says that at the time of the attacks, Hussein was not taking his medication but he does not blame the health system.

He says health staff have been very supportive of Hussein since he came to their attention in 2006.

Hussein is currently in the care of Hillmorton Hospital.

Sentence 'too light'

The man who confronted Hussein, holding him back towards the end of the incident, says his sentence is not severe enough.

Jad Lynn says Hussein should have received nine years and should not have been rewarded for an early guilty plea.