Whangārei man Wesley Ian Hodgkinson went on a crime spree - torching cars and slashing tyres - just for the buzz.

The 28-year-old also revelled in seeing the destruction caused by fire. During the spate public toilets and shelter belts were also set alight.

The damage caused by the fires and the slashing of tyres on vehicles belonging to 42 victims amounted to thousands of dollars.

For his temporary fire lighting, tyre stabbing and burglary pleasure Hodgkinson was sentenced to seven years and seven months jail when he appeared in the Whangārei District Court yesterday.

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Hodgkinson had previously plead guilty to one representative charge of intentional damage relating to the damaged tyres on vehicles of 42 victims, two charges of burglary, nine charges of arson and a charge of arson knowing danger to life was likely to ensue.

One of hundreds of tyres slashed during a crime spree in Whangārei. Photo / File
One of hundreds of tyres slashed during a crime spree in Whangārei. Photo / File

The tyre slashing spree caused major disruption for dozens of motorists, who had to replace tyres. At least one owner had all four tyres slashed, while many others had two slashed, including a tyre of a truck carrying 14,000 litres of oil which was slashed 12 times.

The charges relate to sprees in April and June in 2018.

During one of the burglaries in June a gun safe containing a number of firearms was taken by Hodgkinson.

Judge Duncan Harvey said he had the depressing task of wading through a substantial number of victim impact statements and reparation reports which illustrated the "dreadful harm" Hodgkinson had caused the community.

"What you were doing was completely and utterly pointless and it was dangerous," Judge Harvey said.

"Car tyres are expensive and there is no explanation for the spree other than getting a kick out of it."

He said while there was an enormous amount of reparation involved Hodgkinson had no way of paying.

Des Imms and Phil Campbell, of All About Tyres in Kamo, saw how upset vehicle owners were after having their tyres slashed. Photo / File
Des Imms and Phil Campbell, of All About Tyres in Kamo, saw how upset vehicle owners were after having their tyres slashed. Photo / File

"I have great sympathy for the victims but to make a reparation order would be simply to hold out false hope for the victims."

Unpaid fines of more than $6800 were also wiped.

It was revealed in court Hodgkinson had a significant history of alcohol abuse and his criminal activity was closely linked to that.

He also had an extensive criminal history with previous convictions for arson and intentional damage.

Judge Harvey said if Hodgkinson did not deal with his alcohol addiction it would be dangerous to release him back into the community.

Defence lawyer Sumudu Thode said Hodgkinson accepted the gravity of his offending and he understood if he drank he did stupid things.

Hodgkinson was adopted when he was 4 years old and moved with his adoptive parent to New Zealand in 2003.

However, in 2012 when he was about 15 his parents moved back to the United Kingdom and Hodgkinson was left with no support.

For the crown Jarred Scott said one of the cars that was set on fire was parked near a fence and the home owners were woken to flames licking their kitchen window.

A second person involved was Derek James Lynn, 27, of Otangarei. He has pleaded not guilty to a number of similar charges and next appears in the Whangārei District Court on June 24.