A man who stole his landlady's family heirlooms before making sexual advances towards her returned after being turfed out to burgle the property, a court heard today.

Kim Winitana, 39, was jailed for a year after a series of abominable crimes that left his former flatmate devastated and bed-ridden.

The disabled Winitana moved into the flat in the Sydenham area of Christchurch after the deadly February 22, 2011 earthquake.

Christchurch District Court heard today that Winitana, who has 56 previous convictions for burglary, theft, and fraud, soon stole three of his flatmate's rings.


Two belonged to her late mother and the other was her grandmother's engagement ring.

The court heard that two of the rings, worth $4000 but of immense sentimental value, were not recovered.

"They were very special to this lady. You abused the trust she showed you by having you in her home," Judge Phillip Moran told Winitana who stood in the dock on crutches, wearing a Crusaders rugby jersey.

"It was a very devastating loss for her. She had to take to her bed in great distress."

He was also showing a "sexual interest" in his landlady.

The woman began to feel uneasy around Winitana, and one day he walked into her bedroom with his genitalia exposed.

She felt "very threatened and vulnerable" in her own house, as well as being "disgusted", Judge Moran said.

Winitana was kicked out of the house, but returned later to burgle a laptop.

Defence counsel Gilbert Hay said his client suffered "severe" brain damage in 1997 which left him with a "significant list of difficulties".

Winitana, who earlier pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and committing an indecent act, has speech difficulties, suffers mood swings and agitation, the lawyer said.

Judge Moran took into account Winitana's disabilities and his early guilty pleas to sentence him to 12 months behind bars.

He also ordered him to pay $4000 in reparation, suspended until after his release.