Burglar looted house as 93-year-old man slept nearby

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:05 08/02/2014

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A 20-year-old man took advantage of a 93-year-old's diminished hearing by stealing from the nonagenarian's bedroom while he slept, a court has heard.

Awatea Winston Davey, 20, was in the Palmerston North District Court for sentencing yesterday after admitting the brazen burglary.

Late at night on October 5, he and an accomplice snuck into a house on Long Melford Rd.

Inside, a 93-year-old man was sleeping in his bed.

The two managed to steal a television, DVD player, cassettes and a bottle of Gordon's Dry Gin from other areas of the man's house.

But Davey decided that was not enough and he went into his victim's bedroom looking for more.

While the man slept in his bed nearby, Davey stole a watch and a small torch from a set of draws.

The two then took off but were spotted by police carrying the television down Botanical Rd soon after.

While the DVD player and television were confiscated there and then, Davey's associate managed to conceal the gin before drinking it.

Defence lawyer Paul Murray said Davey's offending was caused by three things: Idleness, drugs and others leading him astray.

"He is quite a young man . . . shy and not particularly confident.

"But he is responsible for his own actions." Davey, a sickness beneficiary, was looking for work and wanted to repay the man for what he stole, Mr Murray said.

Judge Gregory Ross said for a first offence, it was serious.

If the man's hearing had been better, he would likely have woken up to find Davey in his house, he said.

In his victim impact statement, the victim said Davey had no right to be in his house and he should be able to live without worrying about people breaking in. Judge Ross agreed and said any reason Davey had for stealing was not good enough. "Your problems are your problems and you have to sort them out. Now you will get official assistance with them."

He sentenced Davey to 100 hours of community work, and ordered him to pay the man $110 in reparation.

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- Manawatu Standard

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