First-strike warning for drug addict sent to jail

A drug addict has been jailed for 21 months - his 35th prison sentence in a long list of offending to fuel his habit.

Paul Clifford Burridge, in his 50s, was found guilty at an earlier defended hearing of assaulting a man with intent to rob him and burglary when he and a woman co-offender forced their way into a New Plymouth house and assaulted a man on December 20, 2011.

Their actions also traumatised a woman who was in bed at the time with her young son.

Burridge's lawyer, Heather Froude, said Burridge had some insight into his offending and was remorseful. He accepted prison was inevitable and that he would have his sentence increased as a result of seven previous convictions for burglary.

His female co-offender was earlier sentenced to six months' community detention.

Burridge had shifted to Auckland and was married in July which had a very positive influence on him, Ms Froude said.

Judge Allan Roberts said Burridge's victim had run to a woman friend's home to avoid him on the street but Burridge broke in and attacked him.

The judge noted Burridge's long criminal list, mainly drug convictions, burglaries to fuel his addictions, breaches and several for driving while disqualified.

Burridge had been attacked in jail in a fight over his co-offender.

Burridge was entrenched in his attitudes and sought to minimise his role in the offending, the judge said. He had lied about his ability to pay his fines, saying he was working in the freezing works and could pay $100 a week.

On his release, Burridge was ordered to attend alcohol and drug counselling and pay witness expenses of $404.50.

His fines of $2372.92 were remitted and his file stamped with a first-strike warning.

Taranaki Daily News