Karl Robert Kiernan, 21, a vineyard worker of Blenheim, was sentenced to nine months' supervision to complete drug and alcohol counselling and 260 hours' community work, after admitting a string of burglaries in Kaikoura last year.
Kiernan appeared in the Blenheim District Court on Monday and admitted four charges of burglary and a charge of driving while disqualified, a third or subsequent offence.
Judge Susan Thomas said Kiernan began the burglaries when he lost his job and was told he would wait 13 weeks before getting the unemployment benefit.
Kiernan and an associate used bolt cutters to break into a series of commercial buildings around Kaikoura on June 16, 18 and 27, stealing scrap metal, gas bottles and other items worth more than $4000, she said. On July 3 they also stole $4000 worth of alcohol from a property in Culverden, she said. She ordered Kiernan to pay reparation of $3744.
Defence lawyer Rennie Gould said Kiernan seemed to have turned a corner and his employers in Blenheim and the owners of the backpackers he was living in were extremely supportive of him.
Judge Thomas said Kiernan had saved $1400 to help pay the reparation, which was impressive for someone his age. She warned Kiernan he had escaped more serious punishment "by the skin of your teeth" and breaches of his sentence would be likely to have serious consequences.
- Kaikoura Star
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