Man feels unsafe after son burgled his home

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

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The father of a recidivist burglar no longer feels safe in his own home after his son and a mate broke in and stole his property.

Sherkania Merino, 20, of Waitara was yesterday jailed for 18 months for his eighth and ninth burglaries - both of which were carried out while on bail for earlier offending.

Sentencing Merino in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday Judge Allan Roberts said Merino remained resistant to change and his future was "bleak indeed".

His offending was unrelenting, he had no ambition or focus and lived off his wits.

The offending against his own family was alarming, the judge said.

Merino's defence lawyer, Turitea Bolstad said her client accepted he would be jailed and asked for that to be kept to the minimum.

"That is the life he has lived. He knows he needs to make changes but finds it very difficult."

He needed to find a different life "instead of one where he is working out what house he is going to burgle".'

In addition to the burglaries, Merino also pleaded guilty to breaching community work and prison release conditions in June. Then, while on bail, he stole a cellphone from a friends' home and committed the burglary of his father and his father's partner's home on July 22.

Merino and his co-offender Steven Ngaia took electronic items, food and cash from the father's home.

The judge said Merino had 29 previous convictions, 12 for dishonesty and seven for burglary.

His father in his victim impact statement said he no longer felt safe in his home. He was fearful that his son would be in danger in future when people he offended against caught up with him.

The judge said when Merino was last released from jail he had the offer of stable accommodation and people willing to help him. But in days he had moved on.

Merino, who had issues with substance abuse, had never worked, had no regular income and an unstructured lifestyle which had been his chosen path for a long time, the judge said.

Merino was sentenced to 18 months jail followed by six months release conditions to attend alcohol and drug counselling. He must live where directed.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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