It was a case of back to the beginning for a car thief who appeared in Napier District Court a year after being bailed-up with a stolen $50,000 vehicle in the carpark outside.
Jason Gary Stuart Grant, now 40, had taken the Ford Ranger vehicle from a Marine Parade building site on the afternoon of last December 10, and tried unsuccessfully to swap it at an Ahuriri sales yard for a vehicle worth $18,000, a police summary said.
As a suspicious salesman called the police, Grant drove off and changed the registration plates.
He headed for the Napier CBD where he was spotted by the Ford Ranger's owner, who headed for the nearby police station while his father chased and cornered Grant and the vehicle in the courthouse carpark.
Police said a "large" number of people outside the courthouse watched as Grant attempted to ram his way out by hitting the victim's father's Ranger several times.
Grant then ran off, and was chased by witnesses before he was apprehended by police.
It wasn't the only time Grant had tried to swap someone else's vehicle at a sales yard, according to another of the 13 charges before the court, which Judge Bridget Mackintosh, who sentenced Grant on Wednesday, said had spanned five separate series' of offending.
She was told Grant had been an inmate at Manawatu Prison in September 2018, and was given permission by a fellow inmate to stay at a Woodville address on release and to use a car at the address "until he got on his feet".
While the owner was still incarcerated Grant traded the vehicle for another for his own use, claiming later to police he was "given" the vehicle and that he had the paperwork to prove it.
Earlier in the day of the Napier vehicle theft, Grant had also unlawfully entered a home in Nuffield Ave, Marewa, while other offences included being unlawfully on a property in nearby Savage Cr early on the morning of January 20 this year.
In court, Grant was leaning on crutches, having broken his leg while on remand in jail – an injury that defence counsel Philip Jensen said was "substantial."
The cause was not revealed.
Grant had pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary, three of being unlawfully on property, four of converting, unlawfully taking, unlawfully interfering with or theft from motor vehicles, two of shoplifting, and one each of possessing methamphetamine, wilful damage, and dangerous driving.
Saying Grant had time to rethink his life while in jail on remand, lawyer Jensen expected Grant would be able to soon be able to be released and to undertake treatment in the community.
Grant was sentenced to 20 months in prison, with time-served expected to be taken into account. He was also disqualified from driving for nine months.
Judge Mackintosh also set conditions of release extending six months past expiry of the sentence, and ordered Grant to pay reparation for damage and losses resulting from the offences with the vehicles.