A young man’s claim that he had committed burglaries to support his family while his mother was in hospital was disputed in court – by his mother.
Cole Mahia Edmonds, 20, had given that explanation to the police after his arrest, saying he had stolen to get money to pay for food and electricity.
It was put before the Christchurch District Court when he pleaded guilty to the burglary charges in June, but then Edmonds didn’t turn up for his sentencing in August.
He was later arrested and brought to court for his sentencing today, when defence counsel Craig Fletcher said Edmonds’ mother did not accept his explanation as she had provided for the family and the offending was not necessary.
Judge Alistair Garland said Edmonds, 20, committed six burglaries, five in April and May 2013, and one while on bail for the first five.
He was also sentenced on one charge of receiving stolen property and one of failing to answer district court bail.
The reparation for his offending amounted to over $1400 but Judge Garland said he was not in a position to pay it.
He said on April 23 Edmonds and an associate took an Xbox and games, and an external hard drive from a property in Oldswood St, Bishopdale.
They then went to Reynolds Avenue where they took an Acer laptop, and other items.
On April 29 they stole two laptops from a property in Barnes Road, and on May 1 two computers and an iPad from Gainsford Street.
On May 6 they took property from a Rossiter Avenue property, and May 27 they took hair straighteners from an Opawa Road property.
Edmonds was remanded on bail after that offending but on September 7 he ransacked a house in Highsted Road and took electronic items and jewellery.
An associate burgled a house in Riccarton on September 9 and a laptop and hard drive from that burglary were found in his home.
Judge Garland said Edmonds’ likelihood of reoffending was high, and his remorse was for being caught rather than his illegal conduct.
He said Edmonds had 14 prior convictions, and his gross behaviour at one of the addresses added to the distress of his victims.
He said the victim impact reports said the victims had been affected greatly, with substantial financial losses and emotional harm.
They felt absolutely devastated, gutted, violated, upset, and disturbed by the burglaries, he said. They felt unsafe in their own homes.
He jailed Edmonds for three years eleven months.