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Gisborne District Court

A judge acknowledged a man's rehabilitation progress for meth addiction after “hitting rock bottom”.

Jerome Ian Smith, 32, was sentenced in Gisborne District Court to two years intensive supervision on 14 charges — one of possessing methamphetamine, two of burglary, eight of theft from shops, two of failure to answer district court bail and a breach of bail.

Counsel Jackie van Schalkwyk told the court Smith had made good progress in rehabilitation and was addressing underlying causes for the offending. She sought an intensive supervision sentence.

Smith had spent 170 days in custody and 79 days on electronically-monitored bail already, she said.

He had also paid $1000 to the court in reparation for the victims.

The Probation Service agreed Smith had been working hard on addressing his addiction issues.

According to an agreed summary of facts, Smith was in Christchurch at the time of the offending, August 2020- May 2021. He was really hitting rock bottom, primarily through meth addiction, and had since engaged in a series of rehabilitation courses.

Judge Robert Spear said normally the sentence would be imprisonment. However, to support Smith's recovery, he sentenced him to two years intensive supervision with special conditions and judicial monitoring every three months to keep his progress in check.

If Smith did well during monitoring, the judge said he would consider lessening his sentence.

A teenager was given a 12 month suspended sentence when he appeared in Gisborne District Court.

Kiri Latu, 19, faced two charges — unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle and unlawfully in an enclosed yard or area.

Counsel Jackie van Schalkwyk told the court that Latu was in a dark place at the time he committed the offences. He was now a full-time employee.

Judge Spear said he was giving Latu a chance because he had no previous offences and had a job now.

Latu was ordered to appear for sentence if called upon by the Judge within the next 12 months.

If within that time he commits an offence carrying a sentence of three months or more, he could also receive a penalty for these charges.