A Masterton man who when masked took part in the burglary of a Wellington supermarket was yesterday sentenced to home detention.

Legion Simon, 21, was one of three Wairarapa men charged with the burglary of the Churton Park New World last year.

Judge Barbara Morris said Simon and the others covered their hands and faces, and broke the main entrance windows to the supermarket about midnight on December 8.

They had used a sledgehammer to smash their way into a locked "safe room", from which they stole $12,000 worth of cigarettes.


Police stopped the van the trio were driving as it was heading into central Wellington, and recovered the cigarettes, sledgehammer, and clothing the men had been wearing.

Simon's lawyer, James Elliott, said Simon had been in custody for six weeks, for the first time, and it was a "difficult and uncomfortable time for him" and had meant missing his child's second birthday.

Simon had no history of burglary or prison sentences or home detention, Mr Elliott said, so home detention was an option.

Judge Morris sentenced Simon to four months' home detention, taking into account time spent in custody, and ordered him to pay $279 in reparation, which was one-third of the cost of the damage to the supermarket.