A man who stole wood to build a fence for his pony will have to pay back the owner of the wood.

Christopher Dillon Young had a pony that kept escaping, so followed a friend's advice and used some wood that appeared to be abandoned to mend the fence, defence lawyer Anna Brosnahan said in August.

Young had pleaded guilty to one count of burglary.

Young thought the person had authority to offer the wood, but took it without being sure who owned it, said Ms Brosnahan.

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He appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday for sentencing.

Judge Patrick Treston said the owner of the wood was "particularly irked with what happened".

He said the owner had put the wood aside under shelter to dry out, and would now have to start that process again.

Judge Treston sentenced Young to 85 hours of community work, and ordered him to pay $454.78 reparation to the victim.