A New Plymouth man has learned the hard way why it is best to never bad mouth a district court judge on social media.
Troy William Henry LaRue was forced to face up to a judge he called a c*** on Facebook when he was summoned on January 21 to the New Plymouth District Court for unpaid traffic fines, The Spinoff reported.
On January 12, the now former Taranaki Judge, Allan Roberts, announced his retirement and his decision was reported by the Taranaki Daily News.
In the comments section of the article, which was posted on social media, Mr LaRue made a highly inappropriate and uncomplimentary remark about the Judge.
When Mr LaRue turned up to court for his hearing nine days later, Judge Roberts was sitting at bench.
Just one week from his retirement, Judge Roberts decided to hold Mr LaRue to account for his comments.
The court transcript, released to The Spinoff, tells the highly amusing tale of Mr LaRue learning a life lesson in manners.
The transcript shows the Judge reading out the total amount of Mr LaRue's fines, a hefty sum of $6244, and telling him he would be sentenced to community work.
The judge then asked the court registrar to hand Mr LaRue a document and asked him to read out the contents. The court; "Open that up for him. It's a [Facebook] post you created isn't it?"
Mr LaRue: "Yeah, I was very intoxicated."
The court: "read it out loud."
After some understandable hesitation from Mr LaRue read out: "LOL I hope the f***** has gone by Friday. Ha ha. F*****, nah f***** c*** whose old face and saggy chin. F*** off."
The court: "Who were you talking about when you talk about, "The f****** old c*** with the saggy old chin?"
Mr LaRue: "Well I guess I was talking about you sir."
The judge said he did not "read that drivel" but that the post had been brought to his attention by his registrar.
"You're a brave soul though aren't you?"
Mr La Rue replied: "Well, all I can say is that you got me on that one."
"I got you cold mate," Mr Roberts replied.
After delivering a hard lesson to Mr LaRue, Judge Roberts sentenced him to 300 hours of community service work.
He also ordered Mr LaRue to wait in the cells while his order was typed up.