Throat-cutting gesture to burglar facing jail

August 13, 2015 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-05A man in the public gallery called out and made a throat-cutting gesture at a burglar who was jailed for a series of high-value break-ins.

The man left the Christchurch Court House straight away after the sentencing of Willem Martin Kerris, who was jailed for three years two months by District Court Judge Jane McMeeken.

The judge ruled out any prospect of 25-year-old Kerris contributing to the $84,000 in losses and damage from the offending because it was too big and he had nothing.

“It is not appropriate that I make any reparation order at all,” said the judge. “It may be that some of your victims will sue you civilly.”

Kerris had unlawfully taken a car in December and used it for a ram raid on Hororata Motors, and then for a burglary where he threw a jack through a window at West Melton Tavern. He got alcohol and cash and caused $12,000 damage. He had also been driving against the terms of an alcohol interlock licence.

He was on bail when he went on the run and committed more offences, and then escaped from police custody when he was being arrested again.

The other offences included two house burglaries including one at Rolleston where he knew the householders and knew they would be away at the time.

Police accept that Kerris did not do the burglary himself but arranged for another person to carry it out, and then sold much of the $80,000 worth of stolen property itself. About $36,000 worth of stolen property was later recovered, but Kerris has never said who the burglar was.

“The home was ransacked. It was wanton vandalism,” said Judge McMeeken.

Another burglary followed in which 17 firearms were taken, and only a few have been recovered.

When Kerris was arrested, he was found with a pistol and ammunition, as well as a meth pipe.

He also faced a charge of breaching his supervision sentence. He reported once and was never seen again.

Defence counsel Louise Denton said Kerris said the meth pipe was only for recreational use. He had committed the offences not to fuel a drugs habit but to get money at a time when he was unemployed and had nowhere to live.

Judge McMeeken said Kerris knew that the family that was a victim of the worst burglary had two children. The family had been badly affected financially and psychologically by the break-in.

She noted that he had expressed some remorse and a willingness to pay reparation, though he had no ability to pay anything.

She jailed him and disqualified him from driving for a year.

 

 

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