Christchurch teen convicted for plotting NZ terror attack takes up golf on road to rehabilitation

A teenager sentenced earlier this year for plotting to launch a terror attack in Christchurch is making positive progress in his rehabilitation, a court has been told.

A Christchurch teenager convicted for plotting to launch a terror attack has taken up golf as he continues his rehabilitation.

The youth, now 18, who didn’t go through with the plan to ram a car into a group of people and then stab them, was sentenced to intensive supervision at the Christchurch District Court earlier this year.

He was radicalised online and told police he’d “done it for Allah”.

Court-imposed suppression orders prevent further details from being published, including his name.

Today, he appeared before Judge Stephen O’Driscoll who wanted a monthly progress report on the boy’s judicial monitoring.

The teen stood in court and read a statement to the judge that outlined his positive progress.

He thanked Judge O’Driscoll for allowing him to continue his community-based sentence which has already resulted in “many positive changes in my behaviour, actions, and problem solving”.

“I have been getting positive feedback from staff,” he said.

“I have been working on strategies to help me deal with the problems I face in life.

“When I am anxious, I discuss how I am feeling with staff and get support. I am also learning to respect other people and their opinions.”

Positive goals he has been working towards include correspondence, life skills, history course and counselling, the court heard.

His favourite new activity is golf, he told the judge, adding that he “hit it far”.

He has been attending counselling sessions and carrying out household chores and activities, while continuing his mosque visits and “discussing religious viewpoints”.

“I feel much better in myself and feel more positive about life in general,” he said.

“I still have things to work on but I am getting there slowly with the help of the [residence – suppressed].

“My future goal is to become more independent and to be back with my mum and to complete my sentence.”

The court heard how he had completed four treatment sessions with a departmental psychologist, who reports he is now more open and engaged.

Judge O’Driscoll was impressed by the teen’s reports which say he’s making progress.

“There has been a marked improvement in your attitude and your general outlook on life,” the judge said.

“I know it would not have been easy for you to have written this and what you have said to me. You have been very honest and open with what you have said and I have been very pleased with the progress that’s been made. It is the first time I have heard you speak.”

The judge will continue to get monthly progress reports.

He remanded the teen for another monitoring session on May 15.

“Keep up the good work,” Judge O’Driscoll told the teen.

-NZ Herald

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