Fuel thief in court

A Blenheim vineyard worker has been sentenced to three months' community detention after stealing fuel from three Marlborough wineries last year.

Keenan Awarangi Te Hore, 20, appeared for sentencing in the Blenheim District Court on Tuesday after being on bail since December. While on bail, Te Hore spent nearly two weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions.

Judge Richard Russell sentenced him to 125 hours' community work and six months' supervision, and disqualified him from driving for three months.

The community detention was reduced from five months because of the strict bail conditions and time already spent in prison.

The maximum penalty for a burglary charge is 10 years in prison.

At an earlier court appearance, police prosecutor Sergeant Graham Single said Te Hore drove to a winery about 9pm on September 14 with some associates. He broke the storage security system and took an unknown amount of fuel.

About 1.30am the following day he and his associates returned and took more fuel from the tanks. Then again on September 15 about 11.10pm he returned for more. All of the offending took place at a weekend, and was not discovered until Monday.

Te Hore said he did not have anything to do with the thefts, Mr Single said.

At the sentencing, Judge Russell said: "Victims of all burglaries feel violated by having their property entered and their property taken and they lose their trust and it violates their rights to have their property secure."

He noted that Te Hore has a job and his employers believed it had the potential to change him.

As part of his community detention, he will be on curfew between 7pm and 6am from tomorrow.

The Marlborough Express