A 34-year-old man who “cleaned” some of the electronic gear allegedly stolen by a crime ring involved in 55 burglaries has been jailed for 17 months.
Andrew Karl Radcliffe will be released from prison almost immediately because he has served all the sentence while on remand.
Three other people charged with being members of an organised criminal group – a charge that Radcliffe has admitted – have pleaded not guilty and the case is heading for trial.
Police allege the group caused losses totalling about $194,000 with its long list of burglaries.
Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said Radcliffe was the “fence” or receiver who offered to clean electronic devices stolen by co-offenders.
Defence counsel Vicki Walsh said Radcliffe had made genuine efforts to improve his situation by doing courses while he was in prison on remand. He sincerely hoped that the sentence would amount to “time served” and he could be released straight away.
Radcliffe had realised that his offending had a significant effect on himself, his partner, and his eight-year-old daughter.
“You believe it is time to change your lifestyle,” said Judge Farish. “I agree. You need to change the people you have been hanging out with.”
She told him it was easy to make “a couple of bucks” through criminal offending, but it was not worth the risk.
She jailed him for 17 months, with six months of post release conditions during which he must attend assessment for a rehabilitation programme, and treatment and counselling as directed. He must also go to an assessment for an alcohol and drug treatment programme.