Christchurch man Michael O'Donnell jailed for receiving stolen war medals
A man who received stolen war medals and then tried to on sell them at a pawn shop claims he didn't know their significance.
In the Christchurch District Court on Monday, Michael John O'Donnell, an unemployed 50-year-old, was sentenced to 12 months' jail for receiving the World War II medals and a stolen $400 chainsaw, being unlawfully on Wainoni Primary School and the theft of scrap metal.
The medals, worth $2000, were stolen from a Saltaire St, North New Brighton house on March 2 – the same day O'Donnell tried to sell them at Edgeware Traders, on Edgeware Rd.
Defence counsel Chris Nolan said O'Donnell did not recognise the significance of the medals, which he was told were worth $100. O'Donnell regretted paying $50 for them and realised he should have inquired about them.
O'Donnell told the pre-sentence report writer that if he had known the medals were stolen he would have taken them to the RSA.
On April 1, O'Donnell parked outside Wainoni Primary School, which was being demolished.
He took copper pipes, brass taps, and scrap metal. When caught he told police he thought they were on a scrap heap.
Nolan said O'Donnell told him he was tired of offending and getting too old to return to prison.
Judge Gary MacAskill said O'Donnell had offended consistently since 1982, including drug, dishonesty and firearm offences.
The court heard the documents that went with the medals had been lost to the family who owned them.