Shane Cassbolt was acquitted of impersonating a police officer but found guilty of possessing an assault weapon.photo/courtesy
A security guard and aspiring private investigator, wearing police-style gear and successfully avoiding a conviction for entering court with a baton without legal authority.
Shane Cassbolt, 31, was arrested while appearing in Christchurch District Court last September. He wore a stab-proof vest, a canister of pepper spray, and a retractable baton.
His gear was confiscated and he was charged with impersonating a police officer.
However, a judge later dropped the charges, saying no one would have believed Casbolt was a police officer.
His uniform bore the New Zealand coat of arms, which may have led the public to believe he worked for the Department of Corrections or Customs.
Cassbolt, who had previously been fined for impersonating a police officer, was charged with possessing an offensive weapon, a baton purchased at a martial arts store.
He called it a “bitestick” and used it to discourage dogs he might encounter when serving documents “to the least friendly people.”
At Christchurch District Court today, Casbolt appeared seeking a guilty verdict, but had filed an application seeking immunity without conviction.
His attorney, Elena Stavrowska, said he now has a criminal record of innocence because his previous convictions were expunged.
She said if he is convicted it will affect his certificate (COA) that allows him to work in the security industry.
Stavroska said the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority (PSPLA), which has the power to revoke Casbolt’s COA, is waiting for a court decision before deciding what to do with Casbolt’s COA.
However, The Crown opposed the application, saying that if Casbolt is found guilty, “the door is still open” for him to continue his private detective license.
Judge Gerald Lynch said he should have left his uniform in his car before entering court.
The judge said it was “his inflated ego” that pushed Casbolt into “this fix,” adding, “You would think someone working in security would have better decision-making skills.” ” he added.
Casbolt wanted to be seen as part of the government enforcement scene, Justice Lynch said.
However, he acknowledged the very low severity of Casbolt’s crimes and allowed him to be discharged without conviction.