Courier’s sentence delivered


A former New Zealand Post courier who helped himself to Apple products ordered by
Queenstowners has been sentenced to community work and supervision.

In Queenstown’s court on Monday, Indian national Kaushal Dilipbhai Prajapati, 23, of Frankton, admitted four counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, between
July 14 and 22 last year.

Prajapati stole an Apple Homepod Mini, Apple i-Pad, Apple Macbook laptop and an Apple pen after they had been accepted by NZ Post for delivery in Queenstown.

His former employer spent more than 60 work hours trawling through CCTV footage to
uncover the crimes.

All bar the Macbook laptop, valued at $2849, were recovered when police executed a search warrant at Prajapati’s house on October 27, last year.

Defence counsel Megan Waller said Prajapati was deeply remorseful for his actions and
destroying the trust his employer had in him.

He’d been employed by NZ Post for about two years and during the first lockdown was put on the wage subsidy, which had a ‘‘significant impact on him, financially’’.

‘‘Around the same time, his father in India suffered a heart attack, and he felt an  obligation to provide financial support, because he was the oldest son,’’ Waller said.

‘‘At that time he could barely afford to pay rent, groceries and bills and was in debt.’’

Waller said Prajapati intended using the items for parts, but his financial situation improved, which was why he still had all but the Macbook when cops searched the property.

Judge Russell Walker said a pre-sentence report writer noted while he was on the wage
subsidy he’d also been struggling to keep up with repayments on an expensive car he bought pre-Covid.

Prajapati hadn’t told his family in India about his offending because he didn’t want to bother them.

However, Walker said it was likely there was also a ‘‘degree of shame’’ involved.

He was sentenced to 75 hours’ community work, nine months’ supervision and ordered to pay $2849 reparation.

Sentence deferred

Andrew James Keen, 29, fisherman, of Lake Hayes was given a 12-month deferred sentence on Monday after admitting assaulting a person he’s in a family relationship with, on January 1 at Queenstown.

Lawyer Bryony Shackell said Keen had been ‘‘on the receiving end’’ of an assault by the
victim and accepted he assaulted her while trying to prevent her from drink-driving.

Shackell said Keen tried to grab her car keys and there was ‘‘some physical back and

But he denied her allegation he’d punched her to the head.

The victim retained the keys and drove away, so Keen reported that to police.

She was subsequently located by police and processed for drink-driving, and at that time disclosed the assault.

Walker said it was a serious charge and he would not normally approach the matter in
the way he did, but the circumstances were ‘‘unusual’’.

‘‘So, I’m going to take an unusual approach in all the circumstances.’’

Outstanding fines totalling $6321.30 were remitted and replaced with 120 hours’ community work.