Under the influence of her then boyfriend – described as a ‘seasoned criminal’ – a Carterton teenager helped break into her parents’ home to steal a hunting rifle and other items.
Judge Barbara Morris told Eleanor Mary Healy on Friday that it was because of her actions that a legally-owned gun had fallen into “criminal hands”.
The rifle has yet to be recovered.
In March, the 18-year-old had been asked to leave her parents’ home after she took her sister’s laptop, worth more than $1000, and sold it for $80, Masterton District Court heard.
A week later, she returned with her boyfriend, and other associates, and told them there was a firearm on the property.
With her “encouragement” they broke into the house and stole a .223 calibre hunting rifle, 50 rounds of ammunition for that gun, 12-14 rounds of .220 ammunition and five shotgun rounds.
They also stole a Samsung television and $200 in cash from the property.
Her parents were “shocked” to find they had been burgled and “their things had been rifled through” while they were both at work.
They were again “shocked” to learn of their daughter’s involvement.
Healy told police she had done it and sold the items, but later said she had not burgled the property.
Judge Morris said it was very fortunate her parents continued to stand by her, “when many would choose not to”.
A report given to the court, described Healy’s attitude as “nonchalant” and said she had a medium risk of reoffending because of whom she associated with.
A later report was “encouraging” and said her attitude had changed significantly – she had ended the relationship.
Defence lawyer Steve Taylor said Healy’s parents had written a letter to the court voicing their support for their daughter.
She had also recently been offered employment at a restaurant and had enrolled to complete her NCEA level one, he said.
Judge Morris said it was a seriously aggravating factor of burglaries if someone was targeting firearms.
It was again aggravating that the firearm had not been recovered, she said.
For this, the starting point of imprisonment was uplifted to two to three years.
Judge Morris took into account that she was a young woman and a “lack of maturity” had contributed to the offending.
Healy had been under the influence of an “older, seasoned criminal” who was the “driving force” of the offending.
But for this association Healy had no convictions, she said.
“You have cut all ties with that offender.
“That gives the court assurance you will not be offending again.”
She took into account Healy’s recent NCEA enrolment, employment offer, “huge prospect” for rehabilitation and guilty plea.
Healy was sentenced to community detention for six months, with a curfew from 1am to midday.
She was also sentenced to supervision for one year.
She was ordered not to associate with her former boyfriend.