A man who robbed Carterton’s Mobil gas station woke up the next morning overcome with guilt and turned himself in to the police that day, Masterton District Court heard this week.
Joseph Page appeared before the court on Wednesday, charged with intentional damage.
Describing the night in May leading up to the incident as a rare occasion, defence counsel Fionnuala Kelly said Page had gone out to celebrate his birthday with friends.
“In a very unusual celebration style, Page decided he would have some alcohol and took too much,” Kelly said.
“He had effectively been without any drug or alcohol for a very long time and found himself drinking spirits.”
This drinking led to Page arriving at the Mobil service station in Carterton later in the night, where he stole the till, kicked at the cigarette locker [unsuccessfully], and caused a disturbance.
His actions caused $2875.60 worth of damage.
Describing Page’s “dream-like recollection” of the night, Kelly said he had been given drinks by others and had put his hand up for the guilty plea.
“He took himself to the police station and made a full admission, which says a lot about where he is now.”
Kelly said that this incident was an aberration to notable progress made by Page, who completed a previous intensive supervision sentence in 2020.
She noted that the events had caused Page to seriously reconsider his drinking.
“Page is adamant that he will drink any substance with a great deal of caution,” Kelly said.
“Following an intensive supervision sentence for previous serious offending, there has been a marked change to be the best person and citizen he can be.”
Judge Barbara Morris remarked that she hadn’t seen him in recent years.
“I had wondered if it was because things were going well or if you had moved out of the area. It’s great to hear it’s because things were going well.”
She noted the damage Page caused to the service station and the stress caused to the owners.
“How did this occur?” Morris asked.
“You simply drunk to excess.
“The owners would have had to be called out. It’s a serious offending and would have had a serious impact.”
But Morris said Page’s actions following the offending were redeeming and noted that he wanted to be a positive role model for his children.
“You went to the police station and handed yourself in,” Morris said.
“You had a difficult upbringing and said you didn’t want to be like your father, you wanted to be a good father.”
Morris said Page’s actions didn’t reflect his turnaround, and how he had abstained from all drugs and was employed and working well.
Page was convicted by Morris and instructed to pay the service station what was owed.
“If you don’t offend in the next 12 months, then you won’t hear about this anymore,” Morris said.
“I used to see you very regularly, and you were in a very different space than you are now.
“I’m sure your children are very proud of you and that they will not be following you into this courtroom.”
When asked how he would avoid a predicament like this in the future, Page said he would avoid going out and drinking heavily.
“Will just stay at home and have a few quiet ones.”