Wine fine below the belt
A bottle of wine concealed down a Papakowhai man’s pants was recovered by Porirua New World and re- sold, saving the thief from having to pay reparation.
Music student Aaron Paul Grey, 40, stole the wine on July 20, but was caught by staff.
He had opened another bottle of wine and was drinking from it when he was arrested.
In Porirua District Court last Tuesday, Judge Chris Tuohy convicted Grey of shoplifting and ordered him to pay $35 to New World for the two bottles.
However, Grey’s lawyer, Megan Boyd, argued he should pay only $14.99 for the bottle Grey opened, because the other was recovered by New World.
‘‘I assumed that the pants one wouldn’t have been sold,’’ Judge Tuohy said.
‘‘Hopefully they wiped it with sanitiser first,’’ Ms Boyd said.
The $ 14.99 reparation was agreed to.
Grey had also been convicted of stealing wine from a supermarket in May. Both times he had argued with family and resorted to alcohol to cope, Ms Boyd said.
Grey had a significant history of offending, but his behaviour was improving and he was no longer resorting to violence.
Judge Tuohy recommended Grey attend a residential alcohol and drug programme.
‘‘ These are the offences of someone who is really and deeply alcoholic and not in control at all,’’ he told Grey.
‘‘Nothing else will go right in your life unless you deal with your drinking.’’