A teenager convicted of stealing a 99 cent stick of confectionery asked for a fine in Tauranga District Court today.
"How are you going to pay it when you can't even afford a chocolate bar?" Judge Thomas Ingram asked Christopher Andrew Cook, an unemployed 17-year-old.
The judge queried why Cook had not been offered diversion but prosecutor David Pawson said he was not a suitable candidate.
The defendant had been given diversion before and had not completed the requirements.
Mr Pawson said Cook was unremorseful over the theft, which had been committed in Queenstown on June 22, just before he moved to Tauranga.
The defendant had walked around a supermarket eating a chocolate bar and had disposed of the wrapper before he left.
A store detective saw what happened and stopped Cook.
Judge Ingram asked Cook to explain himself but got no response.
"What is this all about? I can't understand it," he said.
"You want a conviction do you? You want community work?"
Cook said he wanted a fine, but the judge sentenced him to 40 hours of community work.
"Two or three of these (convictions) and you will be Waikeria (prison) bound. Just think about lining up in the shower with all the boys, your bar of soap in your hand," Judge Ingram warned the youth before he was led from the dock looking somewhat sour.
Decide what news you want to receive when it suits you
Keep up with the latest news by making us your homepage
What do the stars have in store for you today?
Test your mind with our puzzles
The Little Things, Dilbert, Tom Scott and others