A young red-headed burglar has told a court his age and physical appearance has made his time in jail tough.
Jordan Terrance Marsh, 18, has been at Manawatu Prison since early last month after being arrested on five burglary charges.
One of those burglaries was at the Palmerston North house of 71-year-old Margaret Storm.
Storm turned up to the Palmerston North District Court yesterday and was initially reluctant to face Marsh.
But that changed after she heard him read a couple of letters he had written saying how sorry he was and how he sits alone in prison thinking about his family and his victims.
''Just yesterday a Nomad gang member spat in my face because I ate my breakfast and didn't give it to him,'' Marsh said.
''Prison has been really hard for me being a little red-headed white boy.''
Storm then faced Marsh and said she felt better for hearing him speak.
''I hope you make the most of it because you have a long life ahead of you and I'd like to see you succeed,'' Storm told him.
Judge Barbara Morris decided to sentence Marsh to seven months' home detention for that burglary, which happened on October 15, and order him back to court in March to check on his progress.
He will then be sentenced on the other matters.
As Marsh left the dock, he waved to Storm, but she was not looking.