Another alleged looter has appeared in court in Christchurch following the 4 Sept earthquake and the media are still having to avoid the use of the word ‘looting.’ It seems that a wheelbarrow has become the tool of choice in these raids:
A 51-year-old Christchurch woman has ended up in custody after being accused of burgling a property that was undergoing earthquake repairs.
Judge Stephen Erber noted that Louise Patricia Cooper was already on bail on charges of being unlawfully in a building, intentional damage, and driving while her licence was suspended.
He remanded her in custody to the same date as those charges, when she appeared in the Christchurch District Court on charges of being found yesterday in an enclosed yard and burglary, Christchurch Court News website reported.
The police are alleging she had gathered up 34 items including food, a broom, and a squeegee, using a wheelbarrow, but Cooper says she was innocently on the Armagh St property..more here
What makes this woman’s looting even more repugnant is that the alleged ‘burglar’ was herself a quake victim and was the recipient of disaster relief. Not everyone is feeling the community spirit in Christchurch:
…the unemployed woman had lost her suburban Linwood house in the earthquake and was living with her 17-year-old son in emergency housing.
Judge Erber said people accused of taking advantage of the unhappy circumstances of other citizens by burgling their properties.
while the emergency was still real should be remanded in custody “for the better protection of the public”.
He described the burglary of a house under repair as a serious offence.