Judge rejects 'minor' theft claim

Last updated 11:09 07/08/2012

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A judge has told a wool thief he might have "ringed him" if he had caught the man raiding his woolshed.

In the Blenheim District Court yesterday Keith Adrian Bartram, 27, unemployed of Gisborne, admitted charges of theft and receiving stolen goods and was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Defence lawyer Rob Harrison said Bartram's theft from the woolshed near Gisborne last year was a minor theft as there was no threat to the public in Bartram entering the shed late at night, and the small bags of wool that had been stolen were recovered.

However, Judge Pat Grace said he did not accept that the theft was minimal given the amount of effort that went into filling a bale of wool.

"If I found him in my shed I might have ringed him."

On the receiving stolen goods charge Mr Harrison said a friend had stolen the copper in Blenheim and given it to Bartram, who melted it down along with some copper he legitimately owned.

Judge Grace said Bartram had sold the copper for $60.

He said Bartram's actions in both cases were deliberate, knowing full well what he was doing and followed a pattern of previous offending including 11 theft charges.

Reports by the Probation Service showed Bartram as unco-operative.

He had refused to consider any electronic sentence, meaning the only option was to send him to prison.

But Mr Harrison said Bartram was committed to turning his life around.

He wanted to break the cycle of going from one prison sentence to another and was making plans to reintegrate into society when he came out of prison.

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- The Marlborough Express

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