Judge tells lawyer his reason for lateness is 'as good an excuse as I've heard'
When Napier lawyer Philip Ross failed to turn up to court on time, the judge wanted to know why.
Ross was representing a man who was up for sentencing on Friday for a charge of receiving stolen property.
But with his client standing in the dock at Napier District Court just after the scheduled 11am sentencing time, Ross was nowhere to be found, and Judge Geoff Rea was forced to move on to other matters.
When the lawyer arrived 40 minutes later, the judge wanted an explanation.
"We were here at 11am, Mr Ross. Where were you?"
Ross explained that he had been in his office with half a dozen police officers and a fire crew.
He had received a "suspicious package" in the mail and the emergency services had been called to investigate.
"That's about as good an excuse as I've heard," the judge conceded, before proceeding with the sentencing.
Outside court, Ross said the package was an envelope, from an anonymous sender, containing white power.
The powder was being analysed, but appeared to be harmless.