Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

The Tairua boatie who rammed another boat with his dinghy says he was angry because the other boat had raced past his boat at high speed.
John Dixon, who was jailed in 1979 for murdering a night watchman who refused to lend him money, told Stuff that two vessels speeding past on either side of his yacht woke him and his partner Christine from sleep.
He said the wind and the wake from the two vessels lifted his yacht and dumped it on his dinghy, puncturing it. He jumped into the sinking dinghy to pursue the other boat.
“I thought I’d give them some of their own medicine and see how they like it, so I did a few doughnuts,” he told Stuff.
“I made a dick of myself, I lost my cool.”
Dixon said that he didn’t see the children on board the other boat, but he heard a couple of “blabbermouths” instead.
In video of the incident a woman’s voice could be heard saying to him: “You f***** ass. You piece of s***.”
He responded: “You piece of s***. You just caused $1000 worth of damage … you drive past my boat, you rock it if you’re not doing five knots.”
His dinghy was sinking, but in an effort to “splash” the other boat he misjudged the turn and rammed it again, Stuff reported.
Dixon said he had been dealing with anger all his life and was kicked out of home aged 11, spending time in a boys’ home and living on the streets. But he says his life changed after his murder conviction.
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A Herald investigation has revealed that Dixon was jailed in 1979 for beating Joseph “Little Joe” Hishon to death after the night watchman refused to loan Dixon money.
Aged just 16 at the time of the killing, Dixon was then one of the country’s youngest murderers.
His trial heard allegations that he suffered from severe anger issues and was prone to flying into fits of rage.
Dixon told Stuff that he had a serious heart condition “including moments where his heart rate escalates to high speeds and can’t slow down”.
He said his dinghy was particularly important to him to get him back onto land as medical help in the harbour could be difficult.
Speeding boats were a constant issue in the area.
The other woman involved in the incident, Tairua School deputy principal Catherine Browning, has told the Herald that she is now the subject of an employment investigation.
Incident could yet lead to prison recall: expert
Meanwhile a legal expert says Dixon could be recalled to prison if his actions amounted to aggravated assault.
Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge told the Herald that if a prima facie case exists that the life parolee has anger management problems he could also be put back behind bars.
“If he has anger management issues [then in my opinion] it looks like he’s still an undue risk.”
Hodge said if there was a prima facie argument that Dixon had anger management issues then in his view that would amount to him being an undue risk.
If there was similarly a prima facie case that Dixon had committed an assault or aggravated assault by ramming the boat with his inflatable, there was a chance of Dixon being recalled by the Parole Board, Hodge said.