Isaac Nio was sentenced to two years’ probation for a charge of possession of utensil – an offence he committed while doing a 12-month sentence of probation for a major alcohol burglary.
Nio and a friend had broken into the Coco Putt restaurant and stolen items worth $3,335.
But soon after his sentencing, police executed a search warrant and found a bong in his bag at home – he had allegedly been smoking cannabis the day before.
Crown Law’s Metua Okotai said Nio’s recent offending took place while he was serving a probation sentence, but this was his first drug offence. She recommended a short custodial sentence – a view shared by Probation Services in the hope of deterring Nio from further criminal offending.
Defence lawyer Keykore Ahsin said Nio had made his final reparation payment, totalling more than $1000, and was to complete the probation next month.
He asked that his client not be sent to jail but serve a further probation sentence.
Chief Justice Hugh Williams said Nio was apologetic, and was unemployed and depended on casual work. The probation report showed the cause of his offending was “stupidity”.
Nio was still young and it was to be hoped that, with guidance, he wouldn’t re-offend.
With the two years’ probation, Nio was also ordered to stay living where he was told by his probation officer, not to associate with anyone he shouldn’t, and not to consume alcohol or drugs.
He must undergo any training provided by Probation Services.
“You are fortunate not to go to jail. It is up to you to comply with the probation conditions. If you comply, you will avoid coming to court,” the judge told him. “If not, jail will be the ultimate outcome.”