Scrap metal yard boss Dean Raymond Crosbie has apologised to the car owners he harmed and has agreed to pay them for their losses totalling $57,034.
The convicted receiver of stolen vehicles - police say he was running a "chop shop" at his Independent Metal Traders yard in Rolleston - is now ashamed and out of business.
The yard has been tidied and closed when defence counsel Steve Hembrow said it could have been sold as a business for between $300,000 and $400,000.
Crosbie has paid a $17,500 bank cheque to the court as part payment on the full reparation that Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders ordered today.
He now intends to sell a boat, and he has taken up piecework at home to earn more money now that he is out of business.
Once he establishes his income from that, the bank may consider allowing him to increase the mortgage on his home to pay the rest of the reparations.
Judge David Saunders has arranged for another appearance at court in March to monitor progress on paying the reparations.
In the meantime, Crosbie is serving an eight-month term of home detention imposed today, along with 160 hours of community work.
Police came to his sentencing, and an officer told the court of a strong trend for Nissans and all four-wheel drives being stolen in the city. "That's the reason for this operation in the first place," she said.
Police were continuing to monitor other wreckers.
Judge Saunders said payment of reparations was a major factor in the case. The victims were very upset about the losses of their vehicles and personal items.
One car had been stolen from outside Christchurch Hospital while the family was supporting a terminally ill relative.
Hembrow said Crosbie, 47, felt tremendously ashamed and was now trying to rebuild his life. He had noticed people distancing themselves from him, and was now suffering from depression and was on medication.
He had undertaken to repay all of the reparations.
"He apologises to all the victims," said Hembrow. "He's taken it very seriously."
Crosbie had admitted receiving seven stolen cars, car parts, and two engines, as well as operating as a second hand dealer when not licensed, and failing to record a seller's identification.
Hembrow said the bookkeeping had been lax. He described it has a mismatch of figures and entries. Crosbie's accountant had now told him he would be better off in employment rather than running a business.
The judge made an order that private car owners should be paid reparations ahead of the insurance companies, as the money became available.
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