“After six months, it still feels raw,” said burglary victim Ian Jones after seeing the man who raided his Redwood property jailed for five years.
Mr Jones has followed the case of Joshua Lukic through all its sessions, and was again at the Christchurch District Court when Judge O’Driscoll jailed the 30-year-old drug addict today.
Lukic says his aim is to attend a residential drug treatment programme such as Odyssey House when he is released from prison.
Defence counsel Donald Dickson told the judge that Lukic had been using his time in custody on remand awaiting sentence to do a Bible studies course and was down to start an Open Polytechnic small business course.
Lukic had admitted seven burglaries, theft, two aggravated assaults as he tried to get away from a crime scene, dishonestly using a stolen credit card, escaping from the police, resisting police, interfering with a car, and twice failing to turn up at court while on bail.
Mr Jones commented afterwards: “He’s been sentenced but nothing’s changed. We haven’t got much back – some of the medals and none of the jewellery.”
He said he had been approached for a restorative justice meeting with Lukic but had declined. Lukic had taken things which were “pretty dear to the family” including his wife’s engagement ring, his mother’s ring, and his father’s fire service medals.
“If he gave some of the stuff back I might have met him,” said Mr Jones.
Judge O’Driscoll described how a 68-year-old woman felt “frightened, shattered and vulnerable” after one of the Lukic’s burglaries. Another had lost his grandmother’s wedding ring, which was all he had from his family.
Lukic had a history of offending, including violence, dishonesty, and failing to comply with court orders, going back to his teens. The main cause was his addiction to drugs. He would commit burglaries to get goods to sell and get cash to feed his addictions. He was still assessed as a high risk offender.
Lukic ended up in the dock after years of spiralling drug addiction. A sentencing session in 2012 was told that his parents had given his cannabis from the age of seven to deal with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Lukic’s trail of criminal bungles was outlined in the documents the police presented to the court when he pleaded guilty to everything in March.
His palm print was found at the scene of a Harewood Road burglary in which $3700 worth of electronics gear including a laptop was taken.
His fingerprints were found at the scene of a house burglary in Johns Road, Belfast, in which jewellery and electrical items worth $7900 were taken.
His palm prints were found on a side window at a house in Dunbarton Street, Belfast, where the Jones family’s jewellery and medals worth $10,900 were taken.
His fingerprints were found at the scene of burglaries in Gibbon Street, Sydenham, and in Paddington Street, Northcote.
Lukic used a credit card stolen in a burglary to make purchases totalling $331 at five stores.
On June 9, he broke into a vehicle parked at Hornby Mall, searched it, and then returned to it twice more without finding anything to take.
On August 2, Lukic and an associate put hoods over their heads and kicked open the door of a property in Niagara Street, Wainoni. They searched the garage and were caught by police one minute after leaving.
In April 2016, Lukic stole an $1100 cellphone that a woman security guard at the WINZ Papanui office left on the counter. He had gone there to change his address. Cameras recorded the theft, and the registration number of the car he left in. The cellphone was recovered and returned to the victim.
In December 2016, Lukic and a woman associate had a credit card that had been taken in a burglary of a house in St James Street, Papanui. It was used repeatedly for purchases totalling $564 over the next few days. It was traced to the offenders because the woman used it to top up her cellphone, and when it was used at the Sydenham McDonalds, a car registered to Lukic’s mother was recorded in the drive-through.
When he was arrested at an address in Mairehau on December 18, Lukic ran off down the driveway and jumped over two fences before being caught – and then he punched a police constable and threw another to the ground before running off again.
He was caught again, but the police had suffered lumps and grazes from the encounter.
There was one more bungle to come. Mr Dickson said Lukic spent six weeks writing a letter to the sentencing judge, and then forgot to bring it to the court.