The identity of the second professional burglar who stole the Waiouru medals in a brazen heist can now be revealed.
Name suppression has been lifted for James Kapa after he was sentenced to six years in prison by Judge Graham Hubble at the District Court in Auckland.
Suppression had been granted because Kapa was facing charges in an unrelated case, which has now concluded.
The jail term imposed today of six years is on top of a nine year sentence Kapa is already serving for other dishonesty offences.
He has been given a non-parole period of six years and nine months for all the convictions.
Kapa has also been ordered to pay back his $100,000 share of the reward for the medals' return.
Kapa, who has 179 previous convictions, pleaded guilty this month and will join his accomplice Ronald van Wakeren in prison. Van Wakeren pleaded guilty in September 2009 and was sentenced to 11 years for the burglary, as well as a number of sophisticated mortgage scams.
Judge Graham Hubble acknowledged the reward money may never be found. He said either Kapa had gang connections or he was shouldering the blame to safe-guard the money for his partner and young family. A laugh from the public gallery was heard.
Judge Hubble said the sentence had to act as a deterrent "against a person who meddles with New Zealand icons".
"Taking these medals Mr Kapa was clearly a gross miscalculation on your part and I believe that all New Zealanders resent it," Judge Hubble said.
He said Kapa planned to hold on to the medals and use them as bargaining when he was sentenced for other crimes.
Earlier, Crown prosecutor Deb Bell said the crimes that Kapa and Van Wakeren committed were against all New Zealanders.
"The total value of the medals has been estimated by experts at over $5 million but the Crown submits that they are priceless to all New Zealanders," Ms Bell said.
Waiouru Army Museum director Colonel Ray Seymour told the court in a sometimes shaky voice about the difficulty of contacting families to tell them that their loved one's medals had been stolen in the days following the burglary.
He said the crime "tore the heart out of every New Zealander."
"This crime Your Honour, is a crime that shocked the nation," Col Seymour said.
"The immediate impact of the theft was unbelievably devastating on all staff," he said.
He said one person wrote to him to ask: "How sick is it, to take something from a dead person?"
Col Seymour said some of the medals stolen were awarded to men who had literally given their lives to the country.
He also appealed to the court for the reward money to be returned.
"This criminal must not benefit from his crime," Col Seymour said.
The daughter of Charles Upham VC, Amanda Upham, was also in court. She turned to Kapa in the dock and thanked police for their investigation.
Kapa's lawyer Jeremy Bioletti said he hoped that the "good news" aspect of the story would not be lost. He said the good news was that the medals have been returned and despite many people taking credit for this, it was his client that returned them.
He said the judge's sentence should encourage "people who have done something stupid" - kidnapped a child or stolen property - to return the child or property.
"These medals could have been lost forever," Mr Bioletti said.
He also asked the Judge to resist the pressure to deliver a sentence of "retribution".
Mr Bioletti said his client had expressed his remorse on the controversial episode of television show Campbell Live.
Asked by TV3 presenter John Campbell why he was talking to the show, Kapa is reported to have said: "The main reason is, I just want to say sorry to everyone in New Zealand. I think we all regret what happened".
Kapa did not appear on the show itself but was represented by an actor. The show was censured for the staged interview by the Broadcasting Standards Authority complaint.
Mr Bioletti finished his submissions by saying something positive could be taken out of medals theft.
"If this country, and the world, did not know about [the medals] at Waiouru Army Museum before they were stolen but they certainly do now," Mr Bioletti said.
Outside court the officer who led the investigation, Detective Inspector Chris Bensemann, said some good came out of the medals theft.
"This case threw the spot - light on medal recipients, those who gave their lives. Blood was spilt for those medals and I think that the greater public, especially younger people, have a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made for us to live the lives we live now," Mr Bensemann said.
"When I received the first phone call nearly three years ago I didn't immediately realise how major it was but it became obvious very quickly how huge the theft was and what it meant to the Army and the greater New Zealand community.
Detective Superintendent Rob Drew said the police work was a tribute to those who had served in the army.
"This was a difficult investigation which captured international attention, and was complicated by the perhaps dubious involvement of lawyers and some elements of the media. It is perhaps ironic that this dubious involvement led, in part, to identifying the thieves," Mr Drew said.
Kapa and Van Wakeren broke into the Waiouru Army Museum in December 2007 and stole 96 military medals, including nine Victoria Crosses. They caused over $24,000 worth of damage to the army museum.
The medals were returned in February 2008 after a deal was brokered by barrister Chris Comeskey and a $200,000 reward was paid.
Shortly after the medals were returned, TV3 broadcast an interview with one of the burglars, who was portrayed as a hooded man called Robert.
In October 2008 police arrested van Wakeren and Kapa for the medals break-in. The police later attempted to force John Campbell to identify Robert, which he refused as that would break his pledge as a journalist to a source.
Campbell would not name Robert - who can now be revealed as James Kapa - but after a High Court hearing agreed to give evidence about the interview, described as the "king hit" for the prosecution in an otherwise circumstantial case.
* December 2, 2007: Waiouru Army Museum burgled and 96 medals stolen, including nine Victoria Crosses, worth an estimated $5.7 million.
* February 15, 2008: Medals were returned after deal brokered by barrister Chris Comeskey. A reward of $200,000 paid to thieves.
* February 21, 2008: TV3 broadcasts a John Campbell interview with one of the burglars, a hooded actor referred to as "Robert".
* October 15, 2008: Two men arrested, known as K and W.
* June 30, 2009: High Court hearing to determine whether TV3 staff have to give evidence to identify "Robert" in trial. John Campbell refuses to identify him but later agrees to confirm other evidence.
* August 2010: James Kapa also pleads guilty and is sentenced today.