Judge's eye on shop burglar

A smash and grab at a Geraldine hardware store has cost the culprit almost $4000.

Geraldine beneficiary Michael Patrick Hessian, 46, was sentenced in the Timaru District Court yesterday on one charge of burglary.

The charge relates to a break-in at Betta Electrical in Geraldine overnight on September 6-7, 2012.

Judge Joanna Maze told Hessian in January that she was satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that he was the person who broke into Betta Electrical.

Business manager John Shirtcliff, who appeared as a witness at the earlier court appearance, was called to the shop after the incident.

On arrival he discovered a smashed window in the front door, a large rock lying inside the shop and goods strewn across the floor. Televisions, cameras, mobile phones and hair care equipment were among the items missing.

He estimated the net cost of those goods to be $4000.

Mr Shirtcliff also discovered wheel tracks leading away from the store's front door.

At his earlier court appearance, Hessian tried to put the blame on one of the witnesses, saying the items were in her house when he went to visit her one night.

While sentencing Hessian yesterday, Judge Maze took into account his four previous convictions for theft in the past two years.

She sentenced him to six months' community detention, warning him there would be "little tolerance" for breaches. She also sentenced him to 12 months' intensive supervision and ordered him to pay reparation of $3949.68.

"I have a keen interest in watching your progress," she warned him.

The Timaru Herald