Ex-Kiwi model Sophia Nash has been discharged without conviction for stealing a $20 fake Dior handbag from a Mt Eden charity shop.

Judge Nicola Mathers accepted the consequences for the conviction would outweigh the gravity of the "very minor" offence.

Nash was charged with stealing the handbag from the Mt Eden Salvation Army store in January, 2016.

Former model Sophia Nash was discharged without conviction for stealing a $20 handbag from an op shop.
Former model Sophia Nash was discharged without conviction for stealing a $20 handbag from an op shop.

During the two-day judge-alone trial, the court heard from the store manager, Helen Ravlich, who said she saw Nash, who was a volunteer, leave the shop with the bag tucked under her arm.

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Ravlich said she knew the bag belonged to the store because of its distinctive bright colours and it had been out the back for about a week.

To be sure, Ravlich said she waited until Nash returned to the shop and "was deployed" downstairs to give her time to go look in her car.

But Nash said she rushed from the store because her Range Rover, which she was still paying off, was parked in a 60-minute zone.

"I went, 'Ugh' and thought, 'Okay that's not good'."

So she threw her white jumper over her shoulder along with her black bag and went to move the car across the road.

Nash, supported by ex-husband Thane Kirby, told the court she'd bought the bright pink and yellow fake Dior bag about five or six years ago, along with two others, for her daughters to play dress-ups with.

In fact, Nash hadn't even seen the bag out the back that morning; she would have noticed and thought "that's like mine", she said.

Nash said she intended to sell a bunch of bags at a market in Silverdale but not the fake Dior bag as it was her daughter's plaything.

Judge Mathers found her guilty and said she found Nash to be an "unsatisfactory witness" who gave unreliable evidence.

The judge said Nash "acted dishonestly and she had no belief that her actions in taking the bag were lawful".

Sophia Nash leaves the Auckland District Court after sentencing. Her ex partner Thane Kirby tries to shield her face. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Sophia Nash leaves the Auckland District Court after sentencing. Her ex partner Thane Kirby tries to shield her face. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Her lawyer, Karl Trotter, applied for a discharge without conviction on the grounds the consequences would outweigh the "very minor offence".

At the time, Nash was dealing with alcohol addiction issues and a marriage break-down but those issues are now "well managed", Trotter told the court.

Nash said through Trotter she was "relieved the process is now over".

Nash's family mostly lives in the United States and so a conviction would hamper her ability to travel there.

Judge Mathers agreed the offending was "very low level" and that a conviction would affect her being able to visit her family.

The judge also accepted Nash had already suffered significantly from the publicity surrounding the case.

She said Nash was "borderline" for the discharge with conviction, but granted the application on the basis she donated $400 to the charity she stole from.

"Ms Nash, I hope you have learned your lesson," the judge said.

The sentence would be imposed when the court received confirmation of the donation.