Two Tauranga fathers who stole a couple of bikes during a drunken night out because they were too lazy to walk home have narrowly avoided going to prison.
Paul Harvey Jones, 41, from Bellevue and Wayne Norman Clark, 43, from Welcome Bay, were sentenced in the Tauranga District Court this week after pleading guilty to a joint charge of burglary at an earlier appearance. The charge relates to Jones and Clark helping themselves to two bicycles from an enclosed yard at a Sherwood St property about 1.30am on December 13 last year.
The court heard the pair were walking home after a night out when they spotted the bicycles valued at about $500 each, opened the front gate and rode away on them.
Police located Jones and Clark about 50m down the road and recovered the bicycles.
The defendants told police they were too tired or couldn't be bothered walking home.
Judge Christopher Harding told the pair that the Court of Appeal had made it clear that the usual starting point for a domestic burglary was 18 months' prison.
The judge noted they were not first-time offenders before the court, and their criminal histories included a 2014 conviction for a joint charge of aggravated burglary.
Judge Harding said community detention and community work would normally be well below the usual tariff for a burglary offence.
Although this offending was at the lower end of the burglary scale, it had a significant emotional effect on the victim who was left badly shaken, the judge said.
However, Judge Harding said he was prepared to sentence Clark to three months' community detention, 200 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision
Jones was also given 200 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision because his criminal conviction list was less than Jones', he said.
Judge Harding warned Clark and Jones if they involved themselves in another burglary they would be sending themselves to jail.