Jail for receiving stolen war medals

July 17, 2017 | By More

A man who said he “did not know the significance” of the stolen war medals he received and tried to sell has been sentenced to 12 months’ prison.

Meanwhile the documentation that went with the medals has been lost to the family who owned them.

Michael John O’Donnell, an unemployed 50-year-old, was being sentenced in the Christchurch District Court for receiving the war medals on March 2, receiving a stolen chain saw, being unlawfully on Wainoni Primary School property, and theft of scrap metal.

Defence counsel Chris Nolan said O’Donnell didn’t recognise the significance of the medals, which he was told were worth $100. O’Donnell said he should have inquired about them, and regretted paying $50 for them, he said.

O’Donnell told the pre-sentence report writer that if he had known the medals were stolen he would have taken them to the RSA.

On April 1, O’Donnell parked outside Wainoni Primary School, which was being demolished.

He took copper pipes, brass taps, and scrap metal, and when caught told the police he thought they were on a scrap heap and were going to be discarded.

Mr Nolan said O’Donnell told him he was over the offending lifestyle, and getting too old to return to prison.

Judge Gary MacAskill said O’Donnell had offended consistently since 1982, including drug, dishonesty and firearm offences.

Judge MacAskill sentenced him to 12 months’ prison, with special conditions when he is released to do rehabilitation programmes recommended by his probation officer.

 

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