‘One-man crime wave’ jailed

June 21, 2017 | By More

A “one-man crime wave” who told the court prison had saved his life, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years’ jail for dishonesty charges involving losses of $49,000.

David Ronald Cribb, a 24-year-old Halswell painter, was found unconscious in one of the cars he had unlawfully taken, and went to Christchurch Hospital.

Defence counsel Carol Morgan said Cribb was grateful he was found, and believed prison had saved his life. She said he was motivated to address his addiction issues, after the path of addiction – first on synthetic drugs, then harder drugs – took his job and income from him.

Cribb wanted to have a restorative justice meeting with the victims of his offending, and 30 letters were sent out, but no-one responded to them, his Christchurch District Court sentencing was told.

Judge Peter Rollo said the 43 dishonesty offences occurred over five months in 2016, and Cribb was a one-man crime wave trying to pay for his drug addiction.

Cribb’s pre-sentence report said he was usually paying between $400 and $500 a week, but sometimes up to $1000 a week, for the drugs.

He went out at night and found unlocked cars, and unlocked builders’ vans, and took GPS units, clothing, tools, equipment, and handbags, then sold the items through pawn brokers.

He used a Pay-wave card he had stolen for tobacco, food, and fuel at service stations.

Judge Rollo said Cribb had no assets, and the uncertainty of his future meant reparation of $49,000 was completely unrealistic and doomed to fail.

He said some of the offending was an intrusion on private property, and victims suffered unrecoverable loss.

He was sentenced for 38 theft from car charges, unlawfully taking a car, receiving, and three obtaining by deception charges.

He was assessed as a low risk of harm to others, but a high risk of re-offending if he did not do rehabilitation courses.

Judge Rollo sentenced him to two years’ three months’ prison, and then added another three months to the sentence and remitted his previous fines of $11,000, so that when he is released from prison he would be debt-free.

He said it would be up to the parole board to set Cribb’s release conditions, which could include a stay at Odyssey House for rehabilitation, which was recommended by his pre-sentence report writer.

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