Thief to steal again to pay drug debts

Last updated 12:00 23/05/2014

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A Palmerston North man with more than 50 dishonesty convictions says he racked them up to pay for his drug habit.

The man also says he plans to pay his drug debts by stealing again.

John Paul Williams, 28, is a regular in courts for his theft habit.

In 2011, he was jailed for 19 months for various dishonesty offences, as well as for lighting up a joint while in hospital for treatment on an infected leg.

He was back before a judge for sentencing in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday on three charges of shoplifting and one of wilful trespass.

On February 15, 20 and 23, Williams stole items from Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationery and Dick Smith with a combined value of $4147.

In his pre-sentence report, he said he needed the money to pay for drugs as methamphetamine helped him get through the day.

He also said he intended to pay off his drug debts by stealing more property.

Judge David Smith said Williams had more than 50 previous convictions for theft offences, with at least 41 of them for shoplifting.

"Shoplifting is quite clearly driven by the need to fuel your drug habit.

"Until such time as you can overcome your addiction, your life is going to continue on the same way."

The judge sentenced Williams to 18 months' intensive supervision and ordered him to make reparation for everything he stole.

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- Manawatu Standard

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