11 Jun 2019

Former inmate committed crimes hoping to return to prison

5:30 pm on 11 June 2019

A homeless man who committed a crime spree in the hopes of being returned to prison has pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary, having done the same in Rotorua in October.

18072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Wellington High Court.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Kaama Tetakoree Waenga appeared in the Dunedin District Court this morning in relation to his early morning offending on 1 June.

The 30-year-old was released from Otago Corrections Facility on 31 May.

About 5am the following day he was in Gordon Rd, the main street of the Dunedin suburb of Mosgiel.

"The defendant found a workman's pickaxe, picked it up and went to the Knox's Milk Bar," a police summary of facts said.

"The defendant swung the pickaxe at the window of the shop, smashing it, and gained entry.

"Upon entry, the defendant went to the till and attempted to open it but was unsuccessful, he then forced open the cigarette display and took a packet of 25 Choice cigarettes.

"The defendant picked up the pickaxe and went directly to the ANZ bank, a short distance away. The defendant threw the pickaxe at the front window of the bank, smashing it."

Waenga searched drawers looking for money, but was unsuccessful, they said, took a phone from the bank and then rang the police to alert them to his actions.

"When spoken to by police the defendant admitted the facts ... and stated in explanation for his actions that he had recently been released from prison, did not have any money or a place to sleep and committed the offences with the intention of being arrested and remanded to jail," the summary of facts said.

Waenga pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary in relation to the break-ins, but it was not the first time he offended to be returned to prison.

Last year, the Rotorua District Court heard Waenga smashed up a motel room soon after being released from jail so he could be returned to prison - his "happy place", Stuff reported in October.

The case follows the release of a report into the justice system, which found victims of crime were treated poorly and racism was embedded at every level.

Waenga has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced in September for his latest offending.