Offender changed for better - judge

A former Oamaru man who went on a mini crime spree while "down the rabbit hole" of methamphetamine addiction appears to have turned his life around, a judge says.

Macauley Curtis Newberry (28) appeared in the Oamaru District Court this week for sentencing on a raft of charges.

Counsel Ngaire Alexander said the defendant, a painter now of Doyleston, "sadly made the mistake of getting involved in methamphetamine" before his offending in January.

Newberry had been convicted of obtaining by deception (a representative charge for four offences between January 7 and 15); two burglaries — one on the night of January 5 and the other on January 28; dangerous driving, failing to stop, possession of methamphetamine utensils and possession of cannabis on January 16; and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle on January 28.

All the offending was in and around Oamaru.

Of the obtaining by deception, the police summary of facts said Newberry had charged items to his father’s Placemakers Oamaru trade account, without permission, to a total value of $5544.23.

He also burgled his father’s Weston Rd property on the night of January 5, taking items including three chainsaws, a water blaster and power tools.

On January 16, about 5pm, Newberry was driving his unregistered, unwarranted ute south on Thames Highway.

Police had been looking for his vehicle; when they saw it, they activated their red and blue lights, ordering it to stop.

He accelerated, weaving within his lane and passing motorists on the left, at estimated speeds of 80kmh-100kmh in a 50kmh zone.

Police ended the pursuit.

Newberry was later stopped in Parsons Rd.

A Stihl chainsaw on the back seat of the car fit the description of one that had been stolen in a burglary; a further search uncovered two straws, five glass pipes, a gas lighter and used and unused clear ziplock bags with white crystal residue in them, all for methamphetamine use. Also located was a tin containing 17g of cannabis.

Ms Alexander said her client had paid his father the $5544 reparation sought for the Placemakers spending.

He had rehabilitated himself and now had a full-time job which took him around the South Island, making a community work sentence difficult.

Judge Brian Callaghan said the defendant appeared to have turned his life around.

"Clearly you were acting under the destructive powers of methamphetamine."

On all charges, he sentenced to Newberry 12 months’ supervision.

He also disqualified him from driving for 12 months and ordered him to pay $100 for a missing stereo from the car he stole, and $1000 insurance excess for the items taken in the burglaries.








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