Two young men stole broadcaster Paul Holmes' four-wheel-drive so they could visit the dying mother of one of the men.
Matthew Adam Jury, 19, and Zane Smiley Hodgson, 18 pleaded guilty to all charges in the Napier District Court this afternoon.
Hodgson and Jury were charged with unlawfully taking a vehicle and theft of $151 worth of petrol. Hodgson also pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified.
The court summary, said the pair saw Mr Holmes go into the Hastings pharmacy last Wednesday.
Jury spotted the keys still in the Jeep Cherokee, so they hopped in the car and Hodgson drove towards Taupo.
They filled the car up with $151 of fuel and drove from the Napier petrol station without paying.
Police were alerted and stopped the pair on State Highway 5 heading towards Napier.
Representing Jury, Alan Cressey said the pair took the car to drive to Taupo to see Hodgson's mother who is dying of cancer.
"It was a humanitarian dash."
Judge Anne Gaskell said that was an explanation but no excuse.
Jury was convicted and remanded on bail for sentence because he had two outstanding charges of breaching supervision to be dealt with.
Lawyer Michael McAleer said his client Hodgson just wanted to get out of town. Hodgsons had no previous convictions.
Judge Gaskill asked Hodgsons if he realised how serious the charges were. He replied: "yep".
Hodgson was sentenced to 100 hours' community work and ordered to pay $76 reparation.
Mr Holmes had been at the pharmacy after a cardiologist appointment that afternoon. He underwent open heart surgery in June.
He got his jeep worth $60,000 back the same afternoon with a full tank of gas.
- The Dominion Post