Security guard burglar gets another chance for home detention

August 8, 2017 | By More

A security guard who stole $179,000 from a cash machine and buried most of it in his garden will be given another two months to find an address where he might be allowed to serve home detention.

Judge Michael Crosbie was unconvinced at Tony John Williams’ Christchurch District Court sentencing that the case would fall within the two-years-or-less range where home detention can be considered.

But he allowed a request from defence counsel Kathryn Vesty for a delay because the original home detention address checked by Community Probation had no GPS signal and was not suitable.

Judge Crosbie remanded the case for sentencing on October 25 and asked for an updated report on the suitability of a new address in Waltham.

“That’s not an indication,” he told 38-year-old Williams. “All options are open.”

He asked Miss Vesty whether, if he granted the remand, Williams would be able to come up with more than $30,000 in reparations the police are seeking for stolen cash that had been spent and not recovered.

Miss Vesty said Williams would not have the money. “But he can have a plan as to how it would be repaid,” she said. He had no assets.

During his time on remand he had been “grappling with his alcohol addiction” while on restrictive bail conditions at his parents’ home. They were very supportive and there had been no bail breaches.

She said there had been no previous offending, obvious remorse, and an immediate guilty plea.

Judge Crosbie said he would retain the file and do the sentencing himself on his visit to Christchurch in October. He asked for the police to file submissions on what they believed the sentence should be.

Williams was an employee of a large nationwide security company in January, when he went into a laundromat at 2.07am, using a key and alarm codes taken from his work and unlocked the rear of an ATM machine before removing two cassettes containing $50 and $20 notes – cash totalling $179,300.

He dumped the cassettes in a stream at Halswell and resigned from the security firm three days after the burglary.

When police spoke to him, he led them to where he had buried $130,000 cash in the garden. He also had $10,000 hidden inside the address.

Police recovered $141,331 from his address and his vehicle, but Williams had already spent about $38,000 on groceries, cigarettes, alcohol, flights, concert tickets and other goods and services. He also paid off his personal debt.

The police sought forfeiture of a piano, a $1300 done, and the concert tickets he bought using stolen cash.

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