Meth addict’s fines wiped
A Porirua methamphetamine addict has had $36,000 of fines wiped by a judge, because he cannot serve periodic detention owing to the easy availability of drugs.
Johnathan Shane Ruri, 30, accrued the fines for vehicle offences and burglaries since 2006, Porirua District Court heard last Tuesday.
Fines can usually be substituted for periodic detention at a rate of one hour for every $100.
However, probation officers advised Judge Bill Hastings that because of Ruri’s addiction, periodic detention was not suitable.
Judge Hastings asked how much money Ruri had in savings, and agreed to take Ruri’s $300 and remit the rest. ‘‘It might be a gesture of goodwill,’’ he said. Ruri was convicted the same day of burglary, receiving stolen goods and possession of cannabis.
On July 23 at 4am he broke into KCT Ruri’s house, and while there, found 343 grams of cannabis in Ruri’s bathroom.
Ruri had 88 previous convictions and had significant drug problems, using methamphetamine every day at the time of his offending, Judge Hastings said.
However, the burglary was done at night in a commercial area, so did not pose any risk to the public, Judge Hastings said.
Since being charged, Ruri had been in Rimutaka prison and was highly motivated to change, Judge Hastings said.
In a letter to probation, Ruri wrote: ‘‘Now that I’m straight I regret it hard out. It affected lots of people.’’
Judge Hastings sentenced Ruri to seven months’ home detention, to be served in Palmerston North.
He will attend a residential addiction treatment programme next year, must pay $ 1107 in reparation, and his car was confiscated by the police.