Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Judge lays into prolific youth offender when he appears as an adult

Judge Gus Andree Wiltens was stunned when he leafed through 17-year-old Anthony Gage's 20 pages of Youth Court notations and turned to the teenager's father for help. Photo / File
Judge Gus Andree Wiltens was stunned when he leafed through 17-year-old Anthony Gage's 20 pages of Youth Court notations and turned to the teenager's father for help. Photo / File

A prolific youth offender in court on his first adult charge has been slammed by a judge and told the court would not tolerate any more "nonsense".

Judge Gus Andree Wiltens was stunned when he leafed through 17-year-old Anthony Gage's 20 pages of Youth Court notations and turned to the teenager's father for help.

Gage came before Manukau District Court this morning having pleaded guilty to a count of burglary which stemmed from a south Auckland ram raid of a sports store.

He and associates made off with $800 of clothes and an unspecified amount of cash.

It was the first time Gage had been in adult court and Judge Andree Wiltens made a stinging assessment of his prior conduct.

"He just helps himself to whatever he wants whenever he wants," he said.

"You've been here again and again and again and it's no surprise your father's utterly fed up with you."

Gage's lawyer Lester Darby said his client had recently lost his job but had the support of his partner with whom he had a young child.

But it was the teen's father who the judge turned to for suggestions on a way forward.

"How do we straighten him out? You must be getting sick of it," he said.

Gage's dad said he believed his son needed "hardcore supervision" but he vowed to stand by him "through thick and thin".

He told the court he was trying to find employment for both of them at the same workplace so he could keep an eye on the unruly teen.

Interventions by the court in the past had appeared to make little impact on Gage's behaviour.

"You have had all sorts of programmes imposed on you and you've just disregarded them. Well that's not what an adult does. You have to live by the laws of the land and you're no different than anyone else; you're not special," Judge Andree Wiltens said.

He sentenced him to a term of intensive supervision.

"If [probation] say there's a programme suitable for you, not only will you go to it, you go to it willingly and do everything they ask of you. Got it?" the judge said.

He also imposed a period of six months community detention on Gage - essentially a 7pm to 7am curfew at a Mt Wellington address.

"No more trooping out with your mates drinking," Judge Andree Wiltens said.
And he was not finished there.

He also imposed judicial monitoring - a discretionary measure judges can take to provide oversight as to how someone is progressing while completing their sentence.
A report would be written about Gage's conduct and he would be back before Judge Andree Wiltens in September.

"Not only is your father going to sit on your back, I'm going to sit on your back too," he said.

"If there are any adverse comments [in the report], I'll act on it. I don't make threats for the sake of it. Is the message getting home?"

"No more offending, no more nonsense," he told Gage, who left the court muttering under his breath.

- NZ Herald

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