Burgled victim goes on burglary spree
A Cannons Creek woman who went on a burglary spree was herself the victim of a home invasion, Porirua District Court heard last Tuesday.
Maria Hendricka Brown, 42, also known as Maria Hendricka Inthout, was sentenced to eight months’ home detention on seven charges of burglary, four of receiving stolen goods and one of theft from a motor vehicle.
The crimes all happened in a ‘‘spree’’ over six months from April till September this year, so did not mark Brown as a recidivist burglar, her lawyer Andrew More said.
Brown broke into homes and garages in Porirua, Tawa and Johnsonville, mainly taking jewellery, cosmetics and electronic equipment.
On July 6, she broke into a playhouse in a residential garden and moved furniture to get at a rug she wanted to steal, then stole some of the furniture, too.
In another house she was disturbed by the occupant while in the act of burgling.
The stolen items she received from others included a projector, jewellery, bank cards and $207 worth of Filipino pesos.
Brown had also met her victims at a restorative justice conference and wanted to give them back their stolen goods or pay them compensation, Mr More said.
Judge John Walker agreed Brown was struggling to deal with terrible events in her life.
‘‘ Not surprisingly, you’ve taken some refuge in the use of drugs, particularly methamphetamine,’’ he said.
However, Brown’s impact on her victims had been substantial, Judge Walker said.
‘‘The effects on victims of burglary are well-known. A sense of having your private space invaded, a sense always that somebody has been through your house and a feeling of no safety.
‘‘Those effects stay with you for a long time.’’
One of Brown’s victims was in court for her sentencing, as was her daughter.
Conditions of Brown’s home detention include a ban from alcohol or drugs, undergoing psychiatric assessment, and getting counselling for alcohol, drugs and gambling.
She must pay $8300 in reparation to her victims.