20 Dec 2018

Convicted child sex offender who went on the run sent back to jail

7:18 pm on 20 December 2018

A convicted child sex offender who cut off his bracelet before going on the run for three weeks has been sent back to jail.

Darren Albert Jolly, 52, turned away from the camera to shield his face at sentencing

Darren Albert Jolly, 52, turned away from the camera to shield his face at sentencing Photo: RNZ/ Anneke Smith

Darren Albert Jolly, 52, appeared before Judge Claire Ryan in the Auckland District Court for sentencing this afternoon.

He hit the headlines in September this year after the police publicly appealed for sightings of him when he fled Auckland in a stolen car.

Jolly, who has 133 convictions including sexual offending against children, has been living under an Extended Supervision Order since 2012.

On 24 September, authorities were alerted that his GPS tracking bracelet had been tampered with and arrived at his Auckland home to find he had disappeared.

Darren Jolly

Darren Jolly Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Judge Ryan said the 52-year-old had gone to a Mt Wellington car dealership and taken a car for a test drive, but never returned it and drove it for five days before it was recovered.

"You effectively went on the run and there was a public appeal by the police to locate you," she said.

Police found and arrested Jolly three weeks after he absconded in Westport, where they also located a mobile phone, in breach of his conditions, in his possession.

The court heard Jolly had already breached the conditions of his Extended Supervision Order 20 times and had convictions for indecent assaults on young girls and possessing child pornography.

He had also breached community service, parole, release conditions, escaped police custody and committed beneficiary fraud and other dishonesty offences.

Judge Ryan said Jolly's offending was motivated by a perception that he was a victim.

"Since your Extended Supervision Order was imposed, you have rarely remained in the community for more than several months at a time as you have continuously breached your conditions.

"A common theme is your high sense of entitlement and your attitude as you believe you have been victimised by community corrections whose conditions are too restrictive."

Jolly's lawyer Graeme Timms told the court his client's offending was largely driven by feelings of isolation as his friends and family lived in the South Island.

"Those feelings of isolation manifested into an intention to abscond from his conditions. He felt he needed to get out of Auckland and get back to what he instructs is his support network."

Judge Ryan said Jolly's insight into his offending had been assessed as "limited".

"In times of stress your coping skills have become overwhelmed, leading to a deterioration of your mental state which has resulted in episodes of poor judgement and impulsive behaviour."

She said the 52-year-old needed to change his attitude to remain in the community long-term.

"Your probation officer says you have a habitual tendency to portray yourself as the victim and you react with passive aggression when you're given restrictions and rules to mitigate your risk of reoffending in the community."

The judge sentenced him to 12 months and three weeks' imprisonment.