Jail next time, warns judge

By Trevor Quinn

A 19-year-old unemployed father who a judge described as having an "appalling criminal history" has been sentenced to six months' home detention.

Brad Evans, from Masterton, faced two burglary charges arising from an August 6 break-in at a Carterton home and a November 10 burglary at a Masterton address.

Evans also faced further charges in relation to the Masterton incident for taking a motorcycle and aggravated assault on its owner.

In Masterton District Court on Tuesday, Sergeant Garry Wilson said Evans entered the Carterton house by breaking a window, searched the premises and took a number of items, including a replica shotgun, two air pistols, a dozen beers, one litre of Jack Daniels, seven large knives and an ounce of cannabis.

When spoken to by police, Evans said he only stole the cannabis, and that an associate remained at the address and stole the remainder of the property. Police were never able to locate the associate.

Sergeant Wilson said that on November 10 Evans went to the rear of a property in Masterton and took an off-road trail motorcycle, valued at $1100.

The complainant saw the defendant trying to kick-start the machine and confronted him. Evans then tried to throw the bike at the complainant and ran off, before challenging him to a fight and punching him in the head.

Onlookers in a passing vehicle who witnessed the altercation then followed the defendant and reported him to police.

Defence lawyer Ian Hard described the first burglary as "silly" and said the second attempt was a "clumsy effort" which was fuelled by alcohol.

He admitted his client had a problem with alcohol, which he was keen to address, and asked Judge Susan Thomas to keep him in the community.

Mr Hard said Evans, who had been in custody since November, had a supportive partner who was present in court and he also had some possible employment opportunities with a local bakery and a butcher's.

Judge Thomas said Evans had 35 previous convictions and he had reoffended 31 times while on bail.

She said Evans had an "appalling criminal history".

"You are really reaching the end of the road which will enable you to stay in the community."

Judge Thomas sentenced Evans to six months' home detention, 200 hours' community work and directed him to pay $1057.69 reparation.

She warned Evans he would be sent to prison if he reoffended.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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