Nectarine Thief Ordered To Pay $1.25 In Reparation

Eyeing The Fruit Stand John George Brown 1831-1913

Eyeing The Fruit Stand
John George Brown
1831-1913

Now I have heard it all.  To save me repeating myself, readers should start by checking out this link on the NZ Herald website before reading on.    Go on, do it now!

Done? Good!

Here we have a scallywag who thinks it is ok to wander into a New Plymouth supermarket and start eating the food on display, which happens to have been nectarines, on the basis that he had no money to pay for them.  The court case was heard in Kaitaia and  defence counsel claimed that her client had been living on the streets of Gisborne.

The first thing that comes to mind is that its a long way between New Plymouth, Kaitaia and Gisborne.  Several hundred kilometres in fact. And to cover this distance one needs money…. But we don’t have the money to pay for a nectarine?  The second thought is – do our courts really have nothing better to do than prosecute a young layabout who helped himself to one piece of fruit?  Court costs, judge’s salary, defence counsel’s  fees, the mind boggles.  The third tought  – there is a whole social argument hidden here in the trenches.  We are mammals which need to eat when we are hungry and drink when we are thirsty, otherwise we die.  Yet our societal structure has evolved to the extent that we actually need this artificial invention called money that drives the concept called trade in order to provide sustenance for ourselves.  Have we gone too far? And lastly – back to the commercial reality we are a part of, like it or not – what does the produce industry have to do to get consumers, including judges, to understand the true value of fruit?  $1.25 in reparation is quite ridiculous from that perspective.  All it will do is drive the message home that fruit is of very little value and its ok to help yourself.  I wonder what the sentence would have been  if Master Casford had opened a can of Coke instead?

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