I think she needs to be sectioned, she certainly needs help

Cactus Kate wrote on Facebook:

Instead of media writing endless ridiculous articles about this woman vilifying her further how about they investigate why she isn’t locked up and given proper mental health care? Quite clear she needs it.

Who is she talking about?

Drinking water ain't going to help love

Drinking water ain’t going to help love

A woman who has been branded a “menace” and banned from being near children, was given a last chance by a District Court judge.

Margaret Mabel Dodds, 59, on November 28 breached a condition of her prison release that she not to  be near children aged under 16.

In the Christchurch District Court today, Judge Gary MacAskill said Dodds was well known to court, continued to be a risk to the community, and was at a high risk of going back to jail.

He sentenced her to intensive supervision for two years with conditions that she attend counselling and treatment as recommended by her probation officer.

Judge MacAskill warned Dodds that if she came back to court again for this type of offending, the court would have no alternative but to send her back to jail.

Dodds is a resident of the Seager Clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital, and has been banned from parks, recreation centres, shopping malls, some streets, public transport, and schools.

Perhaps they should lock her up?

She is clearly a nutter and doesn’t care about legal consequences.

Judge MacAskill is clearly a soft touch.

There have been notices about her on social media websites, and on notice boards in school staffrooms.

In an email to parents in 2013, Cashmere Primary School principal Jacqui Duncan warned that Dodds was “menacing and unsavoury”.

Dodds’ record includes breaches of trespass orders, and repeated assaults on her caregivers.

She was jailed for six months in July after admitting an assault charge that replaced a charge of assaulting a child, a charge of disorderly behaviour that was likely to cause violence, and two charges of being unlawfully on properties.

The court was told that she had pinned a 10-year-old girl against a tree in March last year after blocking her way as the child rode her scooter on a Cashmere walkway.

Dodds was jailed last July for this incident after the court heard she had placed her hands on the child’s shoulders and pressed her stomach up against the victim’s body, pinning her against a tree. When the girl said she had to go to ballet, Dodds asked her to show her some ballet moves.

In June last year, Dodds also blocked the path of a boy walking home from school on Main North Rd. She asked if he wanted a lolly and offered to walk him home but the boy ran away.

She was jailed for 10 weeks in October after breaching a trespass order by going to Barrington Mall earlier that month.

She’s a menace alright, perhaps she is a bit retarded or something. Being a lardo and a heifer thrice over is certainly the least of her problems.

She clearly needs help, and if she has to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act then so be it.


– Fairfax


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  • This is a very tragic case and one which the mental health authorities need to take more seriously. I remember this lady when she was much younger and very, very beautiful. Over the years she has deteriorated greatly and mental health services have become increasingly uninterested. He weight is a product of her illness – she is not a ‘lardo’ as you put it and such statements are as dismissive of her issues as the mental health services are. There are hundreds of people like this who would once have been long term residents of our psychiatric hospitals but are now ‘benefiting’ from so-called community care. We need to wake up to the fact that while community care suits many people, there is a small cadre of people who need long term care and residence in a semi-secure facility.
    Unfortunately mental health services focus on those who have illnesses that can be ‘treated’ or what I used to refer to as YARVIS – young, attractive, rational, verbally skilled, intelligent and seductive. In other words the cannon fodder of the psychotherapy industry.
    Ladies like Margaret are the tragic by-products of an over-weening drive to empty the psychiatric hospitals with no thought to the consequences for people who will never integrate or survive in the community. Such folk are now living on the streets, in squalor or in prison.
    In an advanced Western society such as ours we should be ashamed that we can write off such people who are the product of our own lack of care.

    • Cadwallader

      There’s always two sides to every story. Thanks for your poignant thooghts. You are clearly well versed in the issues prevailing here.

    • kehua

      It is ironic that we are building more jails whilst Australia is building more secure mental health facilities.

    • Grocersgirl

      Good on you for speaking up for this tragic person.

    • Sandysure

      Well said

    • 1951

      Yes, there is a need to protect some both from society and from themselves. It is the responsibility of a caring society. We have not been fair to them.

    • Miss Daisy

      Agree – most men with these personality disorders end up in Jail whereas the women tend to be “treated” by mental health providers who have no effective means to treat them. Closing down the sanctuaries we had in the past just tossed these people out onto the street with no care – because they didn’t fit the criteria!

    • niggly

      We can all thank Labour (in particular Ruth Dyson, sanctioned by Helen Clark when she was PM) for closing down special needs institutions and putting the patients out into the community.

      I agree, there are some people that need long term care and residence in a semi-secure facility. Is it too late to change that (or would civil liberties lawyers, the likes of the Greens and left-wing MSM kick up a stink)?

  • Skydog

    What would the Judges reactions be if the person in front of them was a male? Totally different I guess.

    • James M

      Having a penis would likely change her title from menace to predator.

  • KQ

    “She’s a menace alright, perhaps she is a bit retarded or something. Being a lardo and a heifer thrice over is certainly the least of her problems.”
    I bathed in the unPCness of that paragraph. I almost shed a tear. Its like the old days.

  • Yeah, right, whatever…

    Hmmmm, sounds like another Lisa Jane Turner in the making?
    Maybe a sister? Certainly a fan…

  • jedmo

    Cactus Kate has nailed it while showing the media a useful area for investigation and even advocacy-journalism. Before de-institutionalisation this woman would probably have been safely kept out of harm’s way in a psychiatric institution. People who are nowadays diagnosed with “Personality Disorders” are a real problem as neither the mental health services nor the justice system will take responsibility for them and they slip between the cracks and create real problems in society and also for themselves.

  • taurangaruru

    Look at the girth of her – she should have supervised visits to the pantry

  • Sweet Lips.

    I have seen her down by the playground and the police have normally arrived, she reminds me of our schoolboy witch who lived in the old house, we all had one at some stage, the only problem here is, she is for real and bloody scary for anyone being confronted by her.

  • Catriona

    Goodness me, what is this woman thinking.
    That aside, I think she should join the team of people from Whale Oil who are diligently doing something about their weight.

    • Catriona, near judge a book by its cover.

  • intelligentes candida diva

    Regardless of her issues, she is exhibiting bullying predatory type behaviour toward children and ought to be addressed accordingly. If she is solely a ‘menace’ why is her behaviour not directed towards adults also?

    I wonder if she was abused as a children?