Three burglaries too many = jail

A 20-year-old with 20 prior convictions for burglary was unable to avoid imprisonment for three more at his sentencing in Gisborne District Court.

Jailing him, Judge Warren Cathcart said he had taken a lenient approach — as the court had apparently done previously — but even so, the final sentence was just outside the range able to be converted to home detention.

Keau Jan Leach pleaded guilty to the charges, all arising out of burglaries in October and November last year and all involving residential properties — one a flat in Iranui Road, the others houses in Wildish Street and Graham Road. Goods taken from one house alone totalled $18,000.

He also pleaded guilty to receiving (car parts valued at $1200).

Judge Cathcart noted that similar to 11 charges for which Leach received home detention in 2015, this offending was a spree. On the earlier occasion, the court had obviously taken a lenient approach.

He did not want to jail such a young man and had tried to achieve a sentence within the 24-month range to avoid it. But, given Leach’s prior offending, it was impossible, the judge said.

Even after generous discounts, the end sentence had to be two years, one month imprisonment.

The burglaries were aggravated by damage caused and the high value of property taken.

At the Graham Road property, Leach wrecked a deadbolt in a door to gain access and left with $18,000-worth of goods.

No reparation was ordered.

Speaking with the author of a pre-sentence report, Leach showed no remorse and was assessed as being a high risk of reoffending.

But he had since written a letter to the court and others he intended to forward to the complainants, in which his attitude seemed to have changed, the judge said.

Leach now claimed he was ashamed of what he had done and for getting involved.

The judge said Leach needed to realise his entitlement to youth discount was running out. He needed to be careful with whom he associated.

His counsel Alistair Clarke sought leniency, including a three-year sentence starting point for the offending.

To that start, the judge applied four months uplift for the previous offending, a lenient addition also suggested by Mr Clarke.

There was 10 percent discount for Leach’s youth. It could have been substantially more, were it not for his previous convictions, the judge said.

There was a further two months discount for other mitigating circumstances and a full 25 percent discount for his guilty pleas.

The charge of receiving related to car parts valued at $1200.

A 20-year-old with 20 prior convictions for burglary was unable to avoid imprisonment for three more at his sentencing in Gisborne District Court.

Jailing him, Judge Warren Cathcart said he had taken a lenient approach — as the court had apparently done previously — but even so, the final sentence was just outside the range able to be converted to home detention.

Keau Jan Leach pleaded guilty to the charges, all arising out of burglaries in October and November last year and all involving residential properties — one a flat in Iranui Road, the others houses in Wildish Street and Graham Road. Goods taken from one house alone totalled $18,000.

He also pleaded guilty to receiving (car parts valued at $1200).

Judge Cathcart noted that similar to 11 charges for which Leach received home detention in 2015, this offending was a spree. On the earlier occasion, the court had obviously taken a lenient approach.

He did not want to jail such a young man and had tried to achieve a sentence within the 24-month range to avoid it. But, given Leach’s prior offending, it was impossible, the judge said.

Even after generous discounts, the end sentence had to be two years, one month imprisonment.

The burglaries were aggravated by damage caused and the high value of property taken.

At the Graham Road property, Leach wrecked a deadbolt in a door to gain access and left with $18,000-worth of goods.

No reparation was ordered.

Speaking with the author of a pre-sentence report, Leach showed no remorse and was assessed as being a high risk of reoffending.

But he had since written a letter to the court and others he intended to forward to the complainants, in which his attitude seemed to have changed, the judge said.

Leach now claimed he was ashamed of what he had done and for getting involved.

The judge said Leach needed to realise his entitlement to youth discount was running out. He needed to be careful with whom he associated.

His counsel Alistair Clarke sought leniency, including a three-year sentence starting point for the offending.

To that start, the judge applied four months uplift for the previous offending, a lenient addition also suggested by Mr Clarke.

There was 10 percent discount for Leach’s youth. It could have been substantially more, were it not for his previous convictions, the judge said.

There was a further two months discount for other mitigating circumstances and a full 25 percent discount for his guilty pleas.

The charge of receiving related to car parts valued at $1200.

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