Created: April 14, 2022 07:42
A ‘prolific offender’ has been jailed for three months after admitting breaking into motorbikes to steal helmets.
The trial court heard Maxwell Smith, 50, was sent to drug treatment court in September 2020, after pleading guilty to two counts of theft and two counts of property damage the previous year.
But Smith returned to court for sentencing yesterday after being removed from the treatment program when he was charged with another offence, which has yet to come to court.
The court heard that Smith broke into a motorcycle parked at City Hall and stole a motorcycle helmet.
He targeted another motorcycle the following day which was parked outside Coconut Rock on Reid Street, Hamilton, and stole two helmets.
The incidents occurred on November 24 and 25, 2019.
Smith told court in 2020 he stole the helmets because he needed money for food and told the court he had a drug problem.
But yesterday Lisa Trott, for the Crown, said: ‘The defendants appear to believe this is a victimless crime – the Crown disagrees.’
Ms Trott said Smith had committed theft offenses dating back to 1986 and asked her to pay $801 in restitution to the victims.
She also requested that he serve three months in prison for each charge of theft and one month for each charge of property damage, and that the prison terms for theft be consecutive while the others are served concurrently.
But Marc Daniels, for the defence, said consecutive sentences had been ruled unnecessary by the Court of Appeal unless the offenses had been going on for months.
He requested that his client be given a suspended prison sentence to give him time to pay restitution fines.
Mr Daniels said his client had also stayed out of trouble for most of his adult life – but warned that imprisonment could have a negative effect on his rehabilitation.
He said, “What happens if we send him to prison?
“Are we just sending the message that, despite her best efforts, we’re just continuing the cycle?”
Smith thanked the court for its help with the drug treatment program.
He apologized to the court for his actions, but added ‘it was a long time ago and I’m not that person anymore’.
Magistrate Maxanne Anderson sentenced Smith to three months’ imprisonment for each theft offense and one month’s imprisonment for each property damage offence. She ordered them all to run at the same time.
• He is The Royal Gazette policy of not allowing comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally responsible for any libelous or defamatory comments made on our website, this decision is for our protection as well as that of our readers.