Church arsonist jailed for parole breach

A former Christchurch man jailed in 2016 for arson that caused $2.3 million damage to a church there has admitted breaching parole in Gisborne.

Cheyenne Destiny Jade Reed, 38, appeared in Gisborne District Court via AV link from a prison unit after being recalled on the original sentence.

Reed burned down St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church in Farrington Ave, Bishopdale, during May 2016.

He claimed he did it because God killed his friends in the February 2011 earthquake.

He was sentenced in September that year to six years imprisonment and released on parole this May.

Counsel Michael Lynch said Reed’s breach of parole related to his tenancy. He tried to rectify the problem but the Salvation Army withdrew its support and evicted him.

Reed had nowhere else to go.

Judge Warren Cathcart accepted Mr Lynch’s submissions that Reed’s offence was minor, justifying only a minimal penalty, and that his next scheduled parole hearing (in October) was likely to be a favourable one.

The judge imposed the minimum term available — one month imprisonment cumulative on the original sentence.

The original sentence also covered two burglaries of the church ahead of the arson, theft of a car and perfume, unlawful possession of a knife, receiving a computer and breaching bail.

A later appeal against the sentence was unsuccessful.

A former Christchurch man jailed in 2016 for arson that caused $2.3 million damage to a church there has admitted breaching parole in Gisborne.

Cheyenne Destiny Jade Reed, 38, appeared in Gisborne District Court via AV link from a prison unit after being recalled on the original sentence.

Reed burned down St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church in Farrington Ave, Bishopdale, during May 2016.

He claimed he did it because God killed his friends in the February 2011 earthquake.

He was sentenced in September that year to six years imprisonment and released on parole this May.

Counsel Michael Lynch said Reed’s breach of parole related to his tenancy. He tried to rectify the problem but the Salvation Army withdrew its support and evicted him.

Reed had nowhere else to go.

Judge Warren Cathcart accepted Mr Lynch’s submissions that Reed’s offence was minor, justifying only a minimal penalty, and that his next scheduled parole hearing (in October) was likely to be a favourable one.

The judge imposed the minimum term available — one month imprisonment cumulative on the original sentence.

The original sentence also covered two burglaries of the church ahead of the arson, theft of a car and perfume, unlawful possession of a knife, receiving a computer and breaching bail.

A later appeal against the sentence was unsuccessful.

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