A gang member with an extensive history of violence has avoided a sentence of preventive detention for the second time.
Robert Winterburn, 47, has spent most of his adult life in jail, with convictions for manslaughter and attempted murder.
When he appeared before Justice Potter in 1997, she warned him that if he ever appeared in court again there would be no option but a sentence of preventive detention.
But when the Waipukurau Mongrel Mob member appeared for sentencing on his latest raft of offences before Justice Joe Williams in the High Court at Napier yesterday, he was instead jailed for 11 years and four months, with a non-parole period of five years and four months.
The offences included rape and threatening to kill, after he drove his girlfriend to Pukehou cemetery, near Waipawa, last year, telling her she was “never going home again”. He forced her to undress because he thought she was wearing a police bug, and raped her.
If three strikes had been in place previously he would have got a life sentence with no parole for the manslaughter in 1997. As well as the manslaughter he also stabbed another prisoner five times. I doubt he will ever not be a danger to the community and he should have got preventive detention. Three strikes means that on your third serious violent or sexual offence you get the maximum sentence without parole.