A man who received stolen items taken from a property where he had been employed as a gardener was beaten in jail days before being sentenced.
Joshua Paul Cranstoun appeared in Invercargill District Court yesterday for Crown sentencing before Judge Russell Walker with bruises and cuts clearly evident.
Judge Walker asked if Cranstoun received his injuries in prison.
Cranstoun’s attorney, Jono Ross, confirmed that he had been assaulted two days earlier during what had been Cranstoun’s first stint in custody. He had been in custody for three months.
Judge Walker said Cranstoun responded to a Facebook advertisement in which the victims were looking for someone to do landscaping and managed to find a job.
In a victim impact statement, employers said Cranstoun came across as a trustworthy and dependable family man, with his work described as excellent.
They had given him keys to access the garage and the shed.
However, it was when they gave him $120 to empty a trailer and fill up a gas can that he never came back, the judge said.
He then returned the trailer when the victims were not there.
Less than a month later, tools including chainsaws and weed killer were stolen from the victims’ property.
The victims posted a message on Facebook asking Cranstoun to get in touch with them, then received an anonymous message showing a message from Cranstoun advertising the two stolen chainsaws in which he said they “were a little hot” indicating that they had been stolen. , Judge Walker said.
When police executed a search warrant, they found the weed killer, gasoline canister and keys at Cranstoun’s address.
While Cranstoun was initially charged with burglary, it was later changed to concealment.
The consequences of Cranstoun’s breach were that the couple could not travel to their annual cultural harvest at the Titi/Muttonbird Islands, causing them significant financial costs.
Judge Walker said that at the heart of Cranstoun’s offense was his drug addiction.
“I have also read your letter regarding your self-medicating with illegal drugs to suppress issues that you do not want to deal with,” Judge Walker said.
Cranstoun was sentenced to three months and two weeks of house arrest and ordered to pay $2,437 on three counts of assault on a person in a domestic relationship, willful damage and one charge of receiving possession.
Unpaid fines of $2,756.12 were remitted.