A man took everything a homeless woman owned when he stole her car.

Darren Albert, 24, was suffering with addiction issues and was homeless himself at the time of the offending.

Albert appeared in Whanganui District Court on Tuesday where he was sentenced by Judge Barbara Morris on five charges.

They were two charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage, theft of a motor vehicle, theft of an ex-dwelling and failing to answer District Court-ordered bail.


"You met the victim at a homeless shelter and you asked her if you could put something in her car together with another person," Judge Morris told the court.

"You took that opportunity to then steal her car key and her car. All of her life belongings were in there. She had no home and she was obviously at a low point in her life."

The day after stealing the vehicle, Albert used cards that he found inside it to withdraw small amounts of cash.

His thieving did not end there.

"Your associate had moved out of an address and the victim was left as the occupier of that address," the Judge said.

"You took your associate's property out, helped move him, but then you returned to the address with him and stole $3000 worth of property."

Albert's associate had borrowed the victim's car with her permission. The two then used it to assist them with their theft of her electrical items and alcohol.

Lawyer Raukawa Simon said her client was at a bad time in his life when he committed the offences.


These were Albert's first convictions for dishonesty, he had not appeared in court since 2016 and he was now sober, Simon said.

"You are extremely fortunate to have parents that stand behind you, notwithstanding what I'm sure is a huge amount of sadness that all this offending has caused them," Judge Morris said.

"There has been much personal turmoil in your life and you have turned to drugs to deal with that."

Albert was sentenced to 150 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision.

The judge also ordered him to pay reparation of $1900 and $174.

"Now is the time to show your whānau, to show your father particularly, that you are someone that he can be proud of," Judge Morris said.

"It is very important that you're not back here in the future."