Judge sympathetic but man jailed

Last updated 08:00 08/02/2013

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A judge in the Invercargill District Court expressed his sympathies to a man who lost several relatives in the Easy Rider boating tragedy before sending him to jail this week.

Rima Devlin's family asked him to come down to Invercargill, from Blenheim, last year after his uncle and three cousins were killed in the Easy Rider tragedy in Foveaux Strait, which claimed eight lives, his lawyer Kate McHugh said during his sentencing this week.

Devlin ended up staying in Invercargill, and on a day in September, when under the influence of pills, without a job and penniless, he committed a string of crimes, Ms McHugh said.

He admitted six charges of interfering with motor vehicles and two charges of theft from cars.

Judge Phillips told Devlin he was very sorry for his loss of family members in the Easy Rider tragedy, but other people were also affected by the tragedy, and people lost their jobs, but they did not go out and commit such crimes.

Judge Phillips sentenced Devlin to eight months' jail and gave him leave to apply for home detention. The judge also ordered Rima to pay reparation to several of his victims.

He told Devlin, who has a criminal history, he was a good worker and had the opportunity to make something of his life if he got his "ducks in a row".

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- The Southland Times

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