Jail for re­ceiv­ing stolen war medals

The Southland Times - - NEWS - ANNE CLARK­SON

A man who re­ceived stolen war medals and then tried to on sell them at a pawn shop claims he didn’t know their sig­nif­i­cance.

In the Christchurch District Court yes­ter­day, Michael John O’Don­nell, an un­em­ployed 50-yearold, was sen­tenced to 12 months’ jail for re­ceiv­ing the World War II medals and a stolen $400 chain­saw, be­ing un­law­fully on Wain­oni Pri­mary School and the theft of scrap metal.

The medals, worth $2000, were stolen from a Sal­taire St, North New Brighton house on March 2 – the same day O’Don­nell tried to sell them at Edge­ware Traders, on Edge­ware Rd.

De­fence coun­sel Chris Nolan said O’Don­nell did not recog­nise the sig­nif­i­cance of the medals, which he was told were worth $100.

O’Don­nell re­gret­ted pay­ing $50 for them and re­alised he should have in­quired about them.

O’Don­nell told the pre-sen­tence re­port writer that if he had known the medals were stolen he would have taken them to the RSA.

On April 1, O’Don­nell parked out­side Wain­oni Pri­mary School, which was be­ing de­mol­ished.

He took cop­per pipes, brass taps, and scrap metal.

When caught he told po­lice he thought they were on a scrap heap.

Nolan said O’Don­nell told him he was tired of of­fend­ing and get­ting too old to re­turn to prison.

Judge Gary MacAskill said O’Don­nell had of­fended con­sis­tently since 1982, in­clud­ing drug, dis­hon­esty and firearm of­fences.

Judge MacAskill sen­tenced him to 12 months’ prison, with spe­cial con­di­tions when he is re­leased to do re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes rec­om­mended by his pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer.

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