Community work has been imposed on a teenager who stole a Cure Kids charity box from a central Christchurch hotel and spent the money on food at McDonalds.
Daniel Tiwai Tuatau, 17, of Avondale, is now a student at the ARA polytechnic in Christchurch, and has no income of his own.
Even so, Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders has ordered him to pay reparations of $50 for the charity box he stole, and $549 for a glass door he smashed at a Baby Factory shop in Riccarton five days later.
Judge Saunders said the reparation would remain in the court system, and would be reviewed in three months to determine Tuatau’s ability to pay it.
Defence counsel Kiran Paima said Tuatau was now going to polytech to upskill himself to get a job at the end of the year. He had not kicked in the shop window for fun, but had been the victim of stand-over tactics by another man before the “reckless act” took place. Tuatau told the police he had done it because he was angry.
When Tuatau pleaded guilty last month, the court was told that on the afternoon of November 21, he went into the Ibis Hotel in Hereford Street, where he removed the charity box from the restaurant area and hid it under his clothing. He told police he used the money to buy McDonalds and to get home.
Judge Saunders imposed 90 hours of community work with permission to convert some of the hours into training. He convicted and discharged Tuatau on a charge of breaching his bail by cycling through an area of the city where he was banned.
He noted that Tuatau was now attending classes. “It seems you really do need to get yourself upskilled and into a position where you can be useful to the community.”