A judge says he doubts a shoplifter’s claim that it was coincidence that he had a pair of scissors which he used to lunge at two people who tried to stop him.
David Lee Tito, 28, claimed his use of the scissors was “spontaneous”, but Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said he had “real doubts about that”.
“People don’t normally go around carrying scissors with them,” said the judge at Tito’s sentencing. “The fact that you were carrying scissors when you committed these two thefts, and were prepared to present them, indicates that the use of the scissors may not have been as spontaneous as you say.”
Tito had admitted shoplifting some headphones from a shop, and then going to The Warehouse at Northwood where he took a boxed television and walked out. When two people confronted him in the carpark he dropped the television and lunged at them with the scissors.
At the time, he was on bail for dishonestly using a document. He had taken someone’s eft-pos card and used it to withdraw about $500 – in lots of $100 a time – at a bar where he lost it all on the poker machines.
He was also serving sentences of supervision and community work at the time.
Judge O’Driscoll noted Tito had 71 previous convictions. He had “engaged periodically” with the problem gambling foundation. He had an addiction to gambling, and had mental health issues.
He ruled out home detention and jailed Tito for 18 months. He ordered him to pay $528 reparations to Kiwibank which has reimbursed the person whose eft-pos card was taken and used dishonestly.
Tito had admitted charges of dishonestly using a document, shoplifting, assault using a weapon, and breaches of community work and supervision.