The best friend of a man shot dead by New Plymouth police was so shocked by his death he has vowed to go straight.
Dwayne Jarrod Ingram, 32, of Waitara, was a mate of Adam Te Rata Morehu, 33.
Morehu was shot and killed by police at the New Plymouth Golf Club on June 8 after police responded to an alarm following a burglary at the clubrooms. The death remains under investigation.
The two Waitara men, the unemployed Ingram and Morehu, a building removal labourer, were jointly charged with the burglary of Mag and Tyre Direct in Molesworth St, New Plymouth, on April 6 and of Westown's Westbar and Cafe on June 6, two days before Morehu's death.
Ingram has admitted his part in the two burglaries.
He was not involved in the golf club incident.
Two others, Samuel Paul Mosen, 25, and Joshua Ian Paul, 30, have also been charged - Mosen for the Mag and Tyre burglary and Paul for Westbar.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
In the New Plymouth District Court yesterday Ingram, who has a history of burglaries, was described by his girlfriend as having "itchy fingers".
But the death of his best friend had "a huge impact on him", Ingram's defence counsel Turitea Bolstad told Judge Allan Roberts.
The death was a reality check for him and he was motivated to change his lifestyle, she said.
She asked that Ingram not be sent to jail but be given a sentence of home detention, which would allow him to deal with his issues.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Britton called for a two-year jail sentence, saying Ingram had four previous convictions for night-time burglaries.
The burglaries, especially that of Westbar, were serious property offences, Mr Britton said.
Judge Roberts adjourned the sentencing to determine the feasibility of home detention.
Ingram was further remanded in custody until October 31.
According to the Crown summaries, not read out in court, Ingram admitted scoping out Mag and Tyre Direct for Morehu, who committed the burglary.
A cash box containing about $700 was taken. Ingram received $100 as his share.
At the Westbar smash-and-grab, Ingram and Morehu went through the glass door on the side of the building about 3.35am.
They jumped over the bar, jemmied open a drawer, took $5610 and were in and out in 30 seconds.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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