One of the country’s most notorious arsonists is to serve a further six months in jail – on top of his previously 8½ year sentence – for burglary, theft and wilful damage.
Tonorio was jailed last year after a jury found him guilty of burning the Arorangi Friendly Mart, Betela Tex Mart and the big Raro Mart, all in 2018.
This week he appeared for sentencing before Justice Judith Potter after admitting one count of burglary, three counts of theft, three counts of wilful damage and contempt of court.
In January last year he threw a rock through the window of a Toyota 4WD, parked at the Roadhouse in Arorangi, and took a backpack. A few months later he broke into rental cars, taking a phone from one.
Justice Potter said he and a co-offender entered the Arorangi Tex Mart on July 13 last year, and took $200 from the till and a further $1,720 from the safe, as well as cigarettes and alcohol worth $2000.
Defence lawyer Norman George said Tonorio has been drinking alcohol since he was young, and was showing off to his peers. Now, after being in prison, he realised he was growing up in jail instead of at home with his family. The arson sentence Tonorio was serving was deterrent enough.
But Crown Law’s Jana Epati questioned whether Tonorio had been deterred from crime: he had committed these new offences while his arson trial was underway.
Justice Potter said the Tex Mart burglary was the same store that Tonorio had wilfully set fire to in 2018.
The offending was premeditated, with his co-offenders.
A concurrent sentence was inadequate, she said, and imposed six months in prison for Tonorio, on top of the 8½ years he is already serving.