Pair took spree of destruction

COURT REPORTER
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2014

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A spree of stealing and destroying cars in Canterbury has ended with two Timaru men behind bars.

Jamie Robin Laing, 21, was sentenced yesterday in the Timaru District Court on nine charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, two of unlawfully interfering with a vehicle, four of arson, one each of reckless driving and driving while forbidden, and two charges of theft.

Nicholas Raymond Lay, 23, was sentenced on nine charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and receiving a stolen car and registration plates.

Judge Joanna Maze said that in January last year, over 20 days, the two worked together in the spree in Timaru and wider Canterbury.

"Mr Laing burned four of the cars to hide the evidence and in other instances the cars were sold to wreckers for low sums.

"The victim impact statements are graphic. These people own their cars because they need them. They were modest vehicles and the owners were ordinary people.

"The scale of offending is what leaps out at first view."

Four cars worth $85,000 were destroyed and only three were returned. The stolen vehicles included a caravan and housebus.

Lay was sentenced to one year and eight months' imprisonment and ordered to pay $5827 reparation and Laing to two years and nine months' imprisonment, ordered to pay $10,982 and disqualified from driving for two years. The pair have been held in custody since the offending.

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