Drive-off petrol thieves are risking their licences, Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders has made clear.
He made the point by taking the licence from a two-time thief at his sentencing on November 3.
The young man had driven off with $400 worth of petrol in raids upon stations in Dunedin and Rolleston.
He also punched a security staffer at a Christchurch bar who he claimed had racially abused a friend, and then racially abused him.
Judge Saunders told him that racial slurs were not pretty, but the offender had to be big enough to walk away instead of breaking the bouncer’s jaw.
There was also a charge relating to dishonestly using a friend’s bank card to get $1000.
Judge Saunders told him: “There has got to be a clear message that if you are going to go into petrol stations, fill your car and drive off, there are consequences about your licence.”
The penalties imposed were: three months of community detention with a nightly curfew, three months’ disqualification from driving, reparations totalling $1400 for the losses from the bank card offending and the drive-offs, and $500 emotional harm reparation to the security staffer whose jaw was broken.
The offender had come to court with cash, and most of the reparation was able to paid on the spot.