Queenstown Judge cuts French food thief slack

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A French man told Queenstown District Court he regrets stealing food from a Queenstown supermarket as he loves New Zealand. 

22-year-old Guillaume Ferdinand Pringault, who works at a Cromwell vineyard, pleaded guilty in court today to one charge of theft from Fresh Choice supermarket. 

On June 25 Pringault – with a friend at Fresh Choice – ate a croissant and put $24 worth of cheese into his pocket and left the supermarket, Queenstown police prosecutor Ian Collins said. 

Collins said Pringault had no intention to pay. 

Pringault said he really wanted to stay in New Zealand as he loved the country and the wine here. 

“It’s really important for me to say I’m a hard-worker and I love working on the farm.” 

His defence lawyer said Pringault did intend to pay for the food but he had no money at the time.
 
Judge Phil Moran asked the defendant if stealing from shops is illegal in France and said a conviction will look bad on his record for travel. 

“I recognise for you a conviction has very serious consequences.”
 
He was ordered to pay $200 to the Salvation Army by this Thursday and – if he did so – he would be discharged.
 
Sleepy drink driver 

A Queenstown man from the United Kingdom pleaded guilty to drink driving in Queenstown District Court today.
 
Matthew Boyce a 29-year-old from Fernhill fell asleep at a friend’s house after a night of drinking on June 30, Queenstown Police prosecutor Ian Collins said.
 
Boyce woke up at 4.30am, and thought he had been asleep for longer than he had, so he drove home but was stopped on Lake Esplanade by police.
 
He blew 698 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 400mg.
 
Boyce was disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay $550 plus court charges.