In a twist of irony, a man about to be sentenced for stealing petrol was late for court because his car ran out of fuel.
Moments after Judge Gerard Lynch ordered a warrant for his arrest, Joshua Michael Walker, 30, of Feilding, arrived out of breath at court apologising for being late because his car had run out of petrol and he had to organise a friend to pick him up.
Responsible for seven petrol drive-offs between June and August, Walker was sentenced yesterday in Feilding District Court for stealing a total of $692 worth of petrol.
Using the number plates of a car that had been destroyed to cover the plates of the car he was driving, Walker stole $64.39 worth of petrol from the Aorangi St BP in Feilding on June 7.
On July 14 he took $40 worth from the Kimbolton Rd BP in Feilding, $46.48 worth from Feilding’s Caltex on July 29, and $133.41 from New World Marton a day later.
The supermarket was also hit again on August 13, when Walker took $146 worth of petrol.
The Kimbolton Rd BP was targeted twice more: on August 4 he stole $136.71 worth of petrol and on August 16 he stole $125.54 worth.
Walker claimed he stole the petrol so he could take his children to school.
In his sentencing, Judge Lynch said Walker had many previous convictions for theft and there was a high risk of him reoffending if a suitable sentence was not handed down.
However, he stopped short of sending Walker to prison, instead issuing six months’ home detention.
‘‘The easiest thing is for me to send you to jail, but I’m going to try something different.’’
Judge Lynch said Walker could do some rehabilitation through abstaining from alcohol and drugs and having a psychological assessment and counselling.
He was also sentenced to 125 hours’ community work and reparation for the petrol stolen.
‘‘This is your last opportunity to put things right, it’s time for you to reform and decide if you are committed to your family as you say you are.’’
- Manawatu Standard
Is New Zealand's airport security stringent enough?Related story: Risky objects bypass Wellington Airport security