A Taupo councillor hoping to become the town's next mayor has been spared a jail term after ignoring a protection order to stay away from his estranged wife.
Rex Mincher pleaded guilty in Taupo District Court yesterday to breaching a protection order when he damaged property belonging to his wife, Shona, in their home.
Two other charges of breaching the protection order, including texting his wife, and threatening her with physical abuse, were withdrawn.
Mincher, 50, intended to stand for the Taupo mayoralty at the local body elections this year.
They were not living together after Mincher was acquitted of assaulting his wife, and a protection order put in place, in early September.
On October 6 he saw his wife walk into a local bar with a male friend, the court heard. She later texted her husband to inform him she was on a date.
Incensed, Mincher - who believed until then that his marriage was salvageable - went to his wife's house, messing up the bedroom, knocking over a vase and a lamp, and damaging a television.
Judge Phillip Cooper said the charge was serious but did not warrant a jail term.
"The incident is not minor, and the complainant was upset. You invaded her personal space, which was the purpose of the protection order."
Mincher was convicted and fined $500.
- The Dominion Post
Is this the best summer ever?Related story: Wellington sizzles in January heat