A deaf burglar has been ordered to pay more than $9000 in reparation, including the cost of damage for tagging properties belonging to the Whangarei District Council.
Taylem Henry, 18, was given a last chance by the Whangarei District Court when he appeared for sentencing last week after earlier pleading guilty to four charges of burglary, two of using a document for pecuniary advantage, and single charges of theft from a car and wilful damage.
He was assisted in court by a sign interpreter.
Judge Murray Hunt warned Henry the court would not be sympathetic if he appeared on burglary charges in future before sentencing him to six months' home detention.
He was also ordered to pay reparation of $9515 to the council and various property owners. The judge also ordered that he undertake 200 hours' community work.
On July 1 last year Henry broke into a house in Raumanga and stole a TV, laptop and charger, remote, keyboard, 10 DVDs and 10 discs to the total value of $1650.
A week later, he stole a handbag from a car in Kensington that contained assorted items valued at $2129. The same day, he used a credit card from the handbag to buy food from BP Riverside and Mobil on Walton St.
On July 30, he was observed on security cameras tagging the name "Taylor" on a support beam at the bus terminal on Rose St. The council has in the past reported the tag "Taylor" on several locations around central Whangarei. It sought reparation of $540 which equated to about $30 per tag.
In August, Henry broke into three homes in Raumanga and stole various electrical items and assorted jewellery worth $5050. On September 3, police executed a search warrant and recovered a number of stolen items from Henry's Raumanga home. He admitted all the offences but offered no explanation for his action.
Defence lawyer Kelly Johnson said a non-custodial sentence was appropriate given Henry's age and the fact he spent three months on remand.
Henry had two previous convictions for burglary. Mr Johnson said Henry's ability to pay reparation was limited.
Judge Hunt said Henry was a recidivist burglar who would end up in jail if he continued breaking into properties.