Supervision for ‘scummy’ Christmas burglary

A soon-to-be teen dad has been granted supervision for a Christmas Day burglary that a judge described as “scummy”.

Pierre Tawhi, also listed as Pirre Tawhi on a court document, will spend years drip-feeding payments back to the family he burgled on December 25, taking $3596 of their stuff.

The 17-year-old admitted burgling a house in Ngarimu Street, Avonside. He went into the front of the property in the afternoon, while the family were enjoying their Christmas out the back.

“On Christmas Day, of all days,” said Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave. “You don’t get much lower or scummier than that – to break into someone’s house and steal their Christmas.”

Tawhi took a laptop computer, headphones, computer tablets, a cellphone, camera, video-camera, bankcards, driver’s licence, handbag and purse, car and house keys.

His fingerprints were found on the frame of a bedroom window. He told police he did not know why he committed the burglary, but he had sold the laptops and tablets.

He admitted that burglary, and a charge of being unlawfully in a yard at another property. On that occasion, he stole a mountainbike which he sold on Facebook for $250. It has not been recovered.

Defence counsel Paul Johnson said Tawhi had led an “unstructured” life. He had been on bail without any breaches since November, and was to become a father in August.

Judge Neave said taking electronics and personal items caused people immense disruption and exposed them to significant risks.

He said Tawhi’s unstructured lifestyle would now have to come to an end. “You are only aged 17, and you are about to become a father – heaven help you – for the first time.”

He released Tawhi under 12 months’ supervision and ordered him to pay reparations totalling $3846.

He told the teenager: “This is the last time you will get this kind of indulgence from the court. Next time, make no mistake, you will be going to prison.”

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