String of crimes leads to prison

Caleb Graeme Lynn has been offending since he was 17 to feed his habit. PHOTO: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Caleb Graeme Lynn has been offending since he was 17 to feed his habit. PHOTO: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Prison was the only option for a Dunedin man who amassed 35 convictions over seven months last year.

The "extraordinary spread of offending" occurred because of an entrenched methamphetamine addiction, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

"It spiralled out of control because you needed methamphetamine, you did anything to get it, you didn’t care how you got it or the harm you caused others," Judge Emma Smith said.

Caleb Graeme Lynn (24) was to be sentenced for nine charges of aggravated disqualified driving, 10 of unlawfully taking/using a vehicle, four of the theft of petrol, four of aggravated failing to stop, three of dangerous driving, three of burglary, one of theft of a vehicle, and one of breaching community work.

Lynn had become "like a hamster on a wheel, going round and round", counsel John Westgate said.

"All of this offending since he was about 17 onwards has been driven by his addiction to drugs, specifically meth."

However, Lynn looked completely different than when Mr Westgate first met him, "such was [Lynn’s] addiction to drugs".

The court heard Lynn had a history of social deprivation and was exposed to alcohol and drugs from an early age.

But his client was finally at the stage of his life that he wanted to turn it around, Mr Westgate said.

However, he acknowledged Lynn had said that before.

"The court will have some cynicism about that," the judge said.

Lynn was sentenced to 33 months’ imprisonment and disqualified for 22 months, to begin in April 2023.

Though he would not be able to pay it quickly or right away, Judge Smith ordered the "massive" reparation that arose from his crimes, though an amount was not yet set.

She told Lynn he had driven "in a manner that you did not care about yourself or anyone else ... or court directions".

"Death is only a mere breath away when you behave like that".

Raft of charges

March 12, 2021: Breaching community work.

July 8: Aggravated disqualified driving; unlawfully taking/using a $4000 Nissan.

August 8: Theft of a $2000 Nissan Cefiro.

August 14: Aggravated disqualified driving; unlawfully taking/using a $10,000 Alfa Romeo; two thefts of petrol (Z Kaikorai Valley, valued $12, Z Energy Mosgiel, valued $112).

August 21: Aggravated disqualified driving; aggravated failing to stop for flashing lights; unlawfully taking/using a $4000 Nissan.

September 30: Aggravated disqualified driving; unlawfully taking/using a $1500 Toyota.

October 1: Aggravated disqualified driving; unlawfully taking/using the $1500 Toyota; aggravated failing to stop for flashing lights; dangerous driving.

October 3: Aggravated disqualified driving; aggravated failing to stop for flashing lights; dangerous driving; unlawfully taking/using the $1500 Toyota.

October 4: Aggravated disqualified driving; unlawfully taking/using a $8000 Subaru Legacy; burglary (Allied Petroleum Service Station, Dunedin).

October 6: Aggravated disqualified driving; unlawfully taking/using the $8000 Subaru Legacy; theft of petrol (Z Energy Mosgiel, valued $100); burglary (Stevenson Ave, Sawyers Bay).

October 12: Aggravated disqualified driving; aggravated failing to stop for flashing lights; dangerous driving; unlawfully taking/using the $8000 Subaru Legacy.

October 16: Unlawfully taking/using the $8000 Subaru Legacy; theft of petrol (BP Connect Bays Junction, valued $152).

October 25: Burglary (shipping container, Dunedin).

 

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