A man staring down the barrel of his 20th stint in jail has been told by a judge “prison clearly isn’t working for you”.
Jason Peter Goldsworthy racked up his 491st conviction after stealing and using a PayWave bank card on February 25.
Goldsworthy said he was not proud of his lengthy criminal history, spanning 25 years, but when he saw an opportunity to steal, he could not help himself.
“I have an addiction,” Goldsworthy said.
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Judge Bill Hastings said at the Blenheim District Court on Monday it was time for a “different approach” to tackle Goldsworthy’s reoffending.
It was a “great shame” the 43-year-old had never been psychologically assessed, Judge Hastings said.
“We do need to delve into why you do this, for the sake of public safety.”
Goldsworthy agreed, saying another prison term would not work.
He had been in prison 19 times, but did not want to go back, he said.
“I’m too old for this bull…. now, I really am. I need help.”
Goldsworthy was convicted on four charges and sentenced to six months’ supervision, with conditions to have a psychological assessment for counselling or programmes as directed by probation.
Goldsworthy said he hoped he would get counselling.
“I’ve got more to lose now than ever before. I’ve got a car, a life, friends, family, I’ve got support all around and I don’t want to lose that.”
People imprisoned for violence or sex offences had more counselling offered to them than thieves or burglars, Goldsworthy said.
The only counselling he was offered in prison was a group therapy course, which he chose not to do, he said.
“Most guys, they don’t want to do it. They say, ‘what is said in the group stays in the group’, but then people go back and talk about it anyway.”
Corrections chief custodial officer Neil Beales said he could not comment on specific cases, but said all prisoners were assessed to decide what sort of counselling they needed.
“But if they’re in denial about their offending or don’t want the help, they can’t do the counselling programmes because they would be a disruption to the other prisoners,” Beales said.
Counselling treatment varied from specialist treatment for drug addicts or child sex offenders to motivational and intervention programmes.
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t always make it drink,” Beales said.
A police summary of facts said a woman invited Goldsworthy to a barbecue on February 25 for helping a mutual friend.
He had breached the woman’s trust as her guest by taking her PayWave bank card from the kitchen table, Judge Hastings said.
PayWave cards could be used to pay for transactions under $80 without a pin number or signature.
Goldsworthy spent $40 at the Redwoodtown Z service station about 9.30pm, $78 at BP Blenheim about 9.45pm, and $78 at Mobil Blenheim about 10.30pm.
He admitted three charges of obtaining by deception and one of theft in court on Monday. He said he expected to go to jail.
“I’m happy to take a different approach this time,” Judge Hastings said.
As well as the psychological counselling, Goldsworthy was to complete 100 hours’ community work as a punitive measure and to pay back $206, including $10 to replace the bank card.