Youthful bravado and a penchant for burgling fish-and-chip shops has done Jackson Gage Jenkins no favours.
The 20-year-old was handed a sentence of 26 months' imprisonment in the Whanganui District Court on Wednesday, having admitted seven counts of burglary, six of which related to the theft of more than 80kg of frozen seafood from fish-and-chip shops in Lower Hutt.
Jenkins' lawyer, Quentin Stratford, conceded the shoplifting went "over and beyond the simple need for food", while police prosecutor Sergeant Dave Grey described it as a spree.
Jenkins, remanded in custody since being arrested for the offending, was told up front by Judge Dugald Matheson he would remain in prison.
The six fish-and-chip-shop heists occurred during July and August this year.
During the burglaries, Jenkins and his associates scaled fences, cut padlocks and hauled what they could of the contents of freezers and storage sheds, including fish, prawns, eggs, spring roll wrappers and a DVD player.
An alcohol-fuelled Jenkins was also caught up in two unprovoked episodes of street violence as he wandered through Lower Hutt in July.
In both cases, he randomly grabbed his victims and punched them about the face, later telling a probation officer it was "the natural thing to do". Jenkins, the eldest of six children, left school at 14 and, a year later, became affiliated with a gang.
In October, while in Wanganui, he burgled the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Trust and stole laptops and a heater, before tagging the group's building.
Judge Matheson noted Jenkins had already spent time in prison for aggravated robbery and seemed bent on self-destruction, with a propensity for violence and a transient lifestyle.
He sentenced Jenkins to 26 months' imprisonment on seven counts of burglary, three of assault, one of failing to answer police bail, another of failing to answer district court bail and a charge of intentional damage.