Petrol thieves make all suffer, says judge

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 15/01/2014

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A Feilding mother has been chastised by a Palmerston North judge for driving off without paying for petrol, with the judge saying her behaviour will take away a thing he enjoys about the city - not having to pre-pay before filling up the car.

Kylee Sheree Smith appeared in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, where she pleaded guilty to shoplifting after stealing petrol from Caltex in Feilding.

She put $36.10 worth of unleaded 91 in the car on July 3, and her friend went in to pay.

However, her friend handed over only $5 before the two left.

Duty lawyer Mark Alderdice said Smith, a stay-at-home mother, only knew her friend had not paid the full amount after they had left the petrol station.

Judge David Smith told her he had practised law in Auckland and it was impossible to buy petrol there without pre-paying.

"It was a relief when I got to Palmerston North to fill up and then pay, but people like you put everyone in the same situation where we have to pre-pay.

He sentenced her to 40 hours' community work.

Piatarahi Charysse Whanau appeared in court immediately after Smith, also for stealing petrol.

She filled her car with $60 worth of petrol from BP on Pioneer Highway on November 1, but made no attempt to pay. Closed-circuit television filmed her crime, and she was caught by police soon after.

Mr Alderdice said Whanau simply did not have the money to pay.

Judge Smith said the message he gave to Smith applied to Whanau, and sentenced her to 40 hours of community work and to pay $60 to BP.

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- Manawatu Standard

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