Spree on parents' credit card

An addiction to the synthetic cannabis Kronic started a teenager's four-month crime spree in which his parents were the victims, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

Hayden Desmond Cairns (18), unemployed, appeared for sentence before Judge Stephen O'Driscoll having previously admitted taking $12,495 from his foster parents, who had cared for him since he was a baby.

The Port Chalmers teenager used his parents' business credit card to make 281 unauthorised transactions in the greater Dunedin and Palmerston areas between December 5 last year and March 21.

Public defender Catherine Ure said Cairns first took the card because he was addicted to Kronic, unemployed and needed money to buy the synthetic drug.

It proved "so easy", he was tempted to continue offending, Miss Ure said.

"He's ashamed of betraying the trust of his parents. He is lucky they have offered him unconditional support and he's back living at home."

Cairns bought male and female clothing, footwear and fashion accessories, fast food, groceries, auto accessories and alcohol.

He also used the card to obtain large amounts of cash, which he spent on Kronic and petrol.

He originally faced 53 charges for offending while on a community-based sentence, but four were amended to representative charges of dishonestly using a document to obtain pecuniary advantage.

The others were withdrawn.

Judge O'Driscoll said Cairns had no previous convictions for dishonesty-related offending.

On each charge, the teenager was convicted and sentenced concurrently to four months' community detention, with a curfew from 7pm Fridays to 7am Mondays, as well as 200 hours' community work.

He was also sentenced to 12 months' supervision with a special condition for him to undertake counselling or treatment for drug and alcohol dependency as directed by the probation service, and was ordered to pay reparation of $12,495.66 to his parents at a minimum of $20 a week.

Cairns also admitted an unrelated charge of breaching community work by failing to report to probation on April 7, for which he was convicted and discharged on the basis the sentence had subsequently been completed.




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