Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Living with the psychopath

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    But I couldn’t join in what Sunday presented as the rich memory of Dalton beating him until he whimpered. It reminded me too much of what I’d seen on the news earlier: a couple of hundred citizens of Whanganui being led by Michael Laws – so much in his element – into public threats of vigilante violence.

    Yup – and if you expressed the opinion that being beaten to a pulp or murdered by a mob was too kind a fate for the producers of Sunday and Laws, you might well be getting a 'please explain' visit from the cops (and rightly so). Because that's how functional adults in a civilized society are supposed to roll.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • Armitast,

    What an amazing story to share - really enjoyed it

    Auckland • Since Aug 2012 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I remember you telling us about crossing paths with Wilson before, Russell. Rather you than me.

    The baying mob and Lhaws egging them on is a classic example of more heat than light being shed on the issue.

    I suspect that, as pointed out in the Sunday Star Times, will indeed be the author of his own downfall through quickly breaking one / some of his bail conditions. He'll be watched like an eagle, too.

    I just hope that no one gets hurt if he does break any conditions.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Armitast,

    What an amazing story to share – really enjoyed it

    Thanks. I told it a few years ago in a discussion here, but I figured it was worth sharing at length. It was interesting realising that whatever my conceits, I was vulnerable to him too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Good on ya Russ. Nice to see it confirmed, once more, that you are not "Down With" the rabid right in wanting revenge for something that didn't affect you.
    It's all very well pointing the finger and crying Evil but all but the saintly have their darkness and in realising this we find our humility and compassion.
    Like that bloke said a couple of thousand years ago "If you're so friggin' good, you chuck the first rock".

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Interesting story. How did he get the Gummy name?

    As for that mob in Whanganui; time to hide the pitchforks.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to LegBreak,

    Interesting story. How did he get the Gummy name?

    Dentistry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    That is just to close to the bone Russell, stayed the night!
    What it does prove (again) is that no one is all bad and non human just as the alternative is also true
    Mr Laws, is his record so clean he can be trusted to throw the first stone?

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    I suspect that, as pointed out in the Sunday Star Times, will indeed be the author of his own downfall through quickly breaking one / some of his bail conditions. He’ll be watched like an eagle, too.

    I just hope that no one gets hurt if he does break any conditions.

    I too, hope that he doesnt harm anyone else, but I’m not confident of it…

    Can they impose restrictions upon him indefinitely? I thought parole impositions only lasted till the end of the term of incarceration?

    My understanding of parole was that you are under threat of being put back in jail if you break the conditions, up until the entire sentence has passed? What threat do they hold over you if it is already completed?

    I hope the guy can either go straight (seems unlikely based on all comments from those familiar with him), or if he really is incapable of that, that he does something that gets him locked up for the rest of his life….. but I cant see how that happens without victims?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    As far as the pitchforkers are concerned, there’s no distinction between the “terrible few and the sad many”. The Beast of Blenheim easily falls into the Terrible Few. Unfortunately, making the Terrible Few look bigger in number than actually exists has always been a winning news formula, to the point where the dividing line between awareness and paranoia has been long since crossed.

    Welcome to Two Minute Hate, with your host, Michael Laws.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    As we used to say at the time: Gordon Bennett.....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3275 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    A good story well told. Thank you for sharing it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Is it naive to ask if preventive detention was considered?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Is it naive to ask if preventive detention was considered?

    That would have to have happened at sentencing and iirc wasn't available at that time on the offences of which he was convicted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    But I can't quite bring myself to the belief that the system has failed by not allowing him to re-integrate into the community.

    I haven't been following this particularly well, but I assume this is parole release - if so, how long does he have left on his sentence/under parole? Even if he gets recalled the issue is going to be when that sentence comes to an end...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    Fucking hell, the twist.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    I haven’t been following this particularly well, but I assume this is parole release – if so, how long does he have left on his sentence/under parole? Even if he gets recalled the issue is going to be when that sentence comes to an end…

    Ah, found it. He will be subject to an Extended Supervision Order for 10 years after his parole expires in 2015.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    A chilly little story, Russell. My hope was that Lhaws and Wislon would flat together, They deserve each other.
    I also wish the media would stop giving him that demonic non-de-plume.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2499 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    how long does he have left on his sentence/under parole

    Three years of his sentence (he's done 18 of 21) then, as Russell says, 10 years of extended supervision. I would imagine that a man who has consistently refused treatment and denied that he's got a problem will struggle to live entirely lawfully for 13 years.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4090 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ah, found it. He will be subject to an Extended Supervision Order for 10 years after his parole expires in 2015.

    Cheers. I believe that's the maximum ESO length? Given he served 85% of his sentence before parole and has been hit with the maximum ESO allowed I'm guessing he's not held in particularly high estimation by Corrections et al. So yes Matthew it feels like a "leave a bunk waiting for him" approach.

    I wonder if they begin to loosen the restrictions with, say, a couple of years to go if he did manage to make it that far? Rather than suddenly "unshackle" him in society...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    He’s a reminder of quite how dark and damaged a human can become.

    And perhaps we don't want to be reminded of our darker potentials or how we too could become twisted and damaged. Better to kill off those reminders or at least hid them. And yes we do need to protect people from the dark damaged humans but it seems a real challenge to do that with as you say Russell that we are better than that.
    Great story and an interesting insight about his ability to "intimidate and manipulate".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r,

    Wise words Russell. Thanks. Yes the manipulative Mr Laws goes from the actual 'one', to the apparent future 'many', quite conveniently...presumably to rally the troops.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Rowan Shedden,

    Hi Russell, I moved in with Paul right after you moved out. I had that same dinky little bedroom overlooking Newton Rd. I certainly remember "Gummy" and his claim to being the caretaker of the place. The scarier memory for me at those apartments was the hooker who lived downstairs from us .. she was slightly unhinged and slept with a rifle in her bed ... how do I know? One night she knocked on our door and asked for protection 'coz she thought people were after her, and foolishly (being young & naive) I went into her flat to help her, whereupon she showed me the weapon - drawing it from under the bedclothes ....

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rowan Shedden,

    I went into her flat to help her, whereupon she showed me the weapon – drawing it from under the bedclothes ….

    Jaysus! I can't quite understand why it was such a weird place. But it really was.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Given he served 85% of his sentence before parole and has been hit with the maximum ESO allowed I'm guessing he's not held in particularly high estimation by Corrections et al.

    If we cant accept that this man could get better with incarceration, why do we bother with imprisonment? Why not shoot the fucker and be done with it , as Laws would expect? If we think this man is beast to all, then why would our intelligent friend want to bring to our attention that he experienced a human side that was caring and possibly beneficial to others for a fleeting moment in time.
    If anyone finds it difficult to accept , given that he wont renounce his behaviour, then we as society let him down at birth and there on in after because nobody noticed that he as a child needed help.
    I believe this man has earnt release, our judicial system says so.His conditions imposed are the harshest anyone in this country has ever or has yet to experience.
    I am sure he knows how many feel. If he must behave contrary to his conditions, then he has been told the consequence and we have proof we need better mental care.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

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