A Nelson man who pawned his aunty's jewellery has been called "low" but avoided prison.
Michael Douglas McLay, 24, unemployed, appeared before Judge Paul Whitehead at the Nelson District Court yesterday, where he was sentenced to six months home detention and ordered to do 250 hours community work.
Through defence lawyer John Sandstone, McLay had pleaded guilty to one charge of theft over $1000.
In what Judge Whitehead said was a despicable breach of trust, McLay had lied to his aunty, gained access to her house at Waimea Village in Richmond, and stolen about $8000 worth of jewellery and electronics from her bedroom.
The jewellery items held significant sentimental value, the court heard.
Prosecutor Ruth Thomas said McLay broke the items into pieces, rendering them unidentifiable and easier to sell.
He took a camera and the broken jewellery to Cash n Trade in Richmond and sold everything for $400.
When questioned by police McLay admitted lying to his aunty and pawning her stolen property. He said he had been broke and needed money, and expressed remorse for his actions, the court was told.
In 2008, McLay was jailed for 18 months for his part in an arson and a spate of Kaiteriteri holiday home burglaries.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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