Wanted man's associates sentenced

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 15/05/2014

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Two offenders linked to one of Taranaki's most wanted men have been dealt with in the Hawera District Court.

Zak Armstrong, 17, of Eltham, was sentenced for his role in a December 2013 burglary of a rural property near Marton where about $120 and a vehicle stolen.

Armstrong's alleged co-offender in the crime is Matthew Edwards, who has a warrant out for his arrest. Police also want to talk to Edwards in relation to a number of burglaries in rural South Taranaki which have been reported in the past two weeks.

The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and of unlawfully being in a motor vehicle at an earlier court appearance.

Judge Allan Roberts sentenced him to four months of community detention, which included a curfew from 7pm to 7am.

He was also sentenced to 175 hours of community work and ordered to pay $200 in reparation.

In the other unrelated case, David William Ritchie, 29, of Manaia, pleaded guilty to receiving a stolen .22 rifle and unlawfully being in possession of a firearm. The firearm was seized by Hawera police during a raid in Manaia last week following information received from the public after they appealed for information about a spate of burglaries and the whereabouts of Edwards.

Judge Roberts sentenced Ritchie to 120 hours of community work on the receiving charge and 100 hours on the unlawful possession charge, which is to be served concurrently.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Edwards can contact Detective Sergeant Chris Allemann at Hawera on 06 278 0260.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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