A thief who targeted building supply shops in Gisborne and Hastings will stay in jail but will not be required to pay reparation because a judge says she can't afford it.
Dionne Ashley Broadhurst, 28, appeared in the Napier District Court this week on 12 charges including burglary, theft, assault and failing to answer bail.
The court was told she and associates at various times stole or tried to steal trellises from ITM in Gisborne, a drill set from Carters in Hastings, and a generator from the Stihl shop in Hastings.
The thieves' technique at the Hastings stores was for someone to distract the sales staff while Broadhurst took what they wanted.
At the Carters store, a saleswoman gave chase, was struck by Broadhurst's associate and was leaning in the window of the robbers' Nisan Maxima, which had false and stolen number plates, when they drove off.
She fell back heavily onto the ground.
The court was told Broadhurst had no address suitable for home detention, so Judge Gordon Matenga sentenced her to nine months in prison, with leave to apply for home detention if a place became available.
She has already been in custody for nearly two months.
The judge also said he had been asked to consider ordering Broadhurst to pay $915 in reparation to the businesses concerned – her half-share of the amount taken.
Judge Matenga noted Broadhurst had already been ordered to pay more than $3200 in reparation in the past, and he expected her to do that when she got out of prison.
But he declined to add the $915 to the amount she owed.
"The three victims are commercial establishments and while ordinarily I would like to see them paid, I think the reality of the situation is that you really can't afford it," he said.
- Ric Stevens, Open Justice