'Jesus is a c...' retailer fined

An Invercargill retailer, who was selling hooded tops with the words "Jesus is a c..." emblazoned on the back has been fined in Invercargill District Court.

Warren Craig Skill, 35, appeared before Judge Michael Turner yesterday on one charge of possessing an objectionable publication, namely Cradle of Filth garments (four T-shirts and four hoodies) on or about June 8.

He was fined $500 and an order was made for the destruction of the garments.

The charge was laid by the Internal Affairs Department under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act.

The Southland Times revealed last winter that the Impuls'd store, in south Invercargill, was selling hooded tops with the words "Jesus is a c..." emblazoned on the back.

The tops also featured a highly sexualised image of a Catholic nun.

People had been seen wearing the tops on city streets in the days before the article appeared.

Police subsequently took the offending tops from the store after being told to do so by Internal Affairs.

The tops were sent to the department, which later decided to charge Skill.

In 2008, T-shirts with the same wording were banned by then-chief censor Bill Hastings. The ban made any act of possessing, wearing, distributing or selling the T-shirt, or another top with the same wording and imagery, illegal.

Skill could not be contacted late yesterday afternoon but said last winter the hoodies were one of the shop's fastest-selling items of clothing and he was unaware they had been banned.

The Southland Times