Pizza delivery attacker pleads guilty
A Palmerston North judge is flummoxed as to how a man has avoided being charged with robbery after he forced his way into a pizza delivery car, assaulted the driver and stole money from him.
In the Palmerston North District Court this morning, Steven Roy Campbell, 21, pleaded guilty to theft and assault in relation to the incident - as well as an unrelated charge of wilful damage.
A police summary of facts said Campbell was at his home on Farnham Ave, Palmerston North, on the night of November 20 when his cousin ordered some pizza to be delivered.
The pizza arrived at 10pm, and while someone was paying for it Campbell decided to sit in the front passenger seat of the delivery driver's car.
The driver asked Campbell to leave the car, but he talked him into driving him to another address.
Campbell told the driver to head out of the street and take three lefts, which made the driver concerned.
He soon noticed his cellphone, which was charging in the centre console of the car, had gone missing.
He asked Campbell to give the phone back, but he denied having it - despite it being in his left hand.
The driver parked the car on Botanical Rd and tried to grab the phone, to which Campbell reacted by putting him in a headlock and trying to punch him in the face.
The driver managed to get free though, and ran out into the middle of the road to try stop traffic.
Campbell then offered to give the phone back if he was given all the money the driver had - a move that garnered $40.
He then took off, but was soon found by police.
He told police the driver told him he had lost the phone, and offered to give him $50 if he found it.
He said he found it in the foot well of the car, but became angry when not given the money.
Judge Gerard Lynch said he was surprised Campbell had not been charged with robbery, as it was ''as close as you can get'' to it.
Police Prosecuting Sergeant Stu Oram said Campbell was originally charged with robbery, but the charge was downgraded.
Defence lawyer Fergus Steedman said Campbell had issues with anger, which became a larger problem when alcohol was involved.
''[The anger] impacts other people and is not doing him a lot of good work.''
He had tried to get some counselling to address the issues, Mr Steedman said.
Judge Lynch said Campbell should do his best to address is anger issue now, as it could decide if he went to prison or not.
He remanded Campbell until April for sentencing on all three matters.