Keep your nose clean, Rotorua window washer told
A District Court JP has deferred sentence on intersection window washer, calling the maximum $20,000 fine for the offence "ludicrous".
Brian Alexander Mollgaard appeared before JP Ron Hope at the Rotorua District Court recently after pleading guilty to three charges of car window washing on Amohau St, Rotorua, on October 27 and November 5 and 22.
Mollgaard, a former street sleeper, touched many in the community when an appeal via the Love Soup charity for help with his wedding early this year resulted in donations flooding in.
But he told the court that he was continued to struggle financially.
"I'm getting a benefit but after rent and power I've only got a couple of bucks left over," he said.
His claims were echoed by defence lawyer Erin Reilly.
"The defendant has real financial difficulty, struggling to pay rent, food and power," she said.
Hope said it was "hard to stomach the maximum fine of $20,000" for the charge.
Instead he convicted Mollgaard and ordered him to come up for sentence if called on within six months.
If he kept a clean record during that time, and stayed away from window washing, he'd receive no further penalty.
"You put yourself at risk and the driver of the car. You could end up in a nasty mess," he said.
"Keep your nose clean. If you're going to do it [window washing] do it somewhere where it's legal.
"Don't come back here again."
It's not the first time Mollgaard has hit hard times.
Five years ago he was homeless and used to couch surf from place to place.
He was on the streets for a year before he found his own accommodation again.
Due to his experience he started working with Love Soup, who feed the Rotorua homeless seven nights a week and two mornings a week as well as help find street sleepers accommodation, furniture and work.
Because of Mollgaard's street sleeping experience he had made friendships with those on the streets and knew where a lot of them hung out.
So he became Love Soup's first point of contact to locate the homeless.
It's also not the first time window washers have hit the headlines in Rotorua.
Last year Rotorua's then police chief, Bruce Horne, labelled intersection window washers "criminals and drugs addicts" who are prone to 'irrational and aggressive' behaviour.
He made the statements while making a submission to Rotorua Lakes Council calling for the strengthening of existing bylaws to enable the Police to issue washers with infringement notices.
Horne's pleas followed earlier calls for a similar law change and crackdown from Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick.