Crime funded addiction

By, Court Reporter

A 22-year-old whose father introduced him to methamphetamine when he was 18 began dealing drugs and committing burglaries to fund his addiction, the Whanganui District Court has heard.

Kane Dane Alabaster was sentenced on Thursday by Judge David Cameron to 28 months' imprisonment for offering to sell methamphetamine, selling methamphetamine, offering to sell cannabis and two counts of burglary.

The charges represent serious offending in March last year.

Alabaster's lawyer, Mark Bullock, said his client had since broken his drug dependence, referring himself to the Alcohol & Other Drugs Service.

During March 2012, Alabaster sold at least six 2.575g units of methamphetamine. He also sent text messages offering cannabis at $250 to $300 per ounce.

On March 15, Alabaster and an associate broke into a house on Surrey Rd in Springvale. It was a property Alabaster had previously been inside because he knew the occupant.

The pair stole cash and various items, including eight pairs of shoes, to the value of $10,500.

Nine days later, Alabaster and two associates burgled another house, on Terrace St in Aramoho.

Their hoard included two flat-screen televisions and clothing.

The court heard how Alabaster's drug-taking increased after he became unemployed late in 2011.

With no means to pay for drugs, he resorted to burglary.

Mr Bullock said Alabaster also dealt in "relatively small amounts" of drugs to fund his habit.

But Judge Cameron queried this point. He wondered why Alabaster was buying drugs to sell when he couldn't even afford to fund his own addiction.

Mr Bullock maintained the dealing was not commercially motivated. "It's not as though he was driving round in flash cars or renting sheds to use as P labs," he said.

Mr Bullock asked Judge Cameron to consider handing down home detention.

However, Judge Cameron said Alabaster's personal circumstances were relegated in importance to deterring others from drug dealing and crime.

Alabaster, who continued to look down in the dock during his appearance, was convicted of all charges and sentenced to 28 months' imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay $8528.62 in reparation for the burglaries.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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