Judge’s shock call to release thug
WARNING: Distressing photo
A tattooed gang member who attempted to abduct a woman armed with a box cutter has walked free from court with even the judge admitting he would get hate mail for his decision.
Marcel Sydney Geros escaped a jail term when he appeared in a New Zealand court this week after he pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and assault with intent to injure.
The 27-year-old - whose face is covered almost entirely with tattoos including a clenched fist and the name of his gang - had already served 10 months on remand and would have been eligible for release soon after any jail term had been imposed.
Despite being handed an intensive supervision order that would allow authorities to watch him closely for two years, Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave said he knew there would be a fierce response from the public.
"No doubt there will be letters to the editor demanding my resignation," the judge said, according to Stuff.
Geros's lawyer argued he wanted to start a new life, away from gangs, and it was in the public interest a "therapeutic" sentence was handed down.
The Crown was worried he denied his involvement, even though he entered a guilty plea. The woman had shown "remarkable resilience" but was traumatised after the incident last September when Geros attacked and injured her while she was jogging through a city park just before 6am.
It's not the first time Geros has been before the courts.
Stuff reported he was jailed in 2009 for seven years for bashing his 73-year-old neighbour in his bed. The victim, Alexander Cameron, was so badly wounded he still needed full-time care three years after the violent attack. He has since died.
Judge Neave said: "He (Geros) has got some incredibly complex needs and unless and until they are dealt with he is going to be a significant problem to the community.
"If I send him to prison, absolutely zip will happen, quite apart from the fact that he will be out before we know it. I am not prepared to contemplate that."
The best way for that to happen was if he was able to be monitored intensively by corrective services, which included a string of special conditions and mental health treatment.