A parking ticket issued to an Invercargill man in Queenstown
cost him $4000 and $50 hours' community work after he
admitted intentionally damaging the ticketing device,
property of Lakes Environmental Ltd, and threatening
In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, Judge Lawrence
Ryan heard Leigh Topping (28), a retailer, was walking along
Marine Parade at 2.10pm on October 3 when he encountered the
victim, a parking warden employed by Lakes Environmental.
The two were known to each other.
Topping confronted the parking warden, became verbally
abusive and "threatened to punch him", prosecuting Sergeant
Ian Collin said.
The parking warden used his electronic ticketing machine,
valued at $4000, to take a picture of Topping, intending to
report the incident to police.
"The defendant ... reached out and grabbed the machine and
threw it into Lake Wakatipu," Sgt Collin said.
"It was thrown some distance in [and was] later retrieved by
a commercial diver.
"It was not able to be repaired."
On November 14, Topping presented himself at the Queenstown
Police Station and told officers he had confronted the
parking warden because he had previously received a parking
ticket from him "and he wanted to discuss it".
While he denied threatening to punch the man, he did admit
being verbally abusive.
Reparation of $4311.35 was sought - $4000 for the ticketing
device and the remainder to cover the cost of the diver who
retrieved it from the lake.
Defence counsel Phena Byrne said Topping had taken issue with
a previous parking ticket issued by that warden, but accepted
the way he dealt with the matter was "wholly inappropriate".
"When he became aware police were seeking him, he presented
himself at the Queenstown Police Station."
Judge Ryan ordered Topping to pay $4000 reparation to Lakes
Environmental, at $50 a week, but refused to order reparation
to cover the diver.
On each charge, he was ordered to complete 50 hours'
community work, to be served concurrently.